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India’s NIC network is one of the targets of Chinese-backed hackers who snoop on governments

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News Tech: Attacks by a hacking group purportedly supported by the Chinese government have targeted governments, NGOs, news outlets, and think tanks worldwide, including India’s National Informatics Centre (NIC). Emails were sent to these targets, and once opened, the login information was stolen. RedAlpha, an organisation that oversees the Indian government’s larger IT infrastructure and services, frequently spoofs the login pages for NIC. In just one year, the hacking squad weaponized at least 350 websites.

According to a report by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, the group has also engaged in direct targeting of ethnic and religious minorities, including individuals and organisations within Tibetan and Uyghur communities. “In recent years RedAlpha has also displayed a particular interest in spoofing political, government, and think tank organisations in Taiwan, likely in an effort to gather political intelligence,” said the report.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), Radio Free Asia (RFA), the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and other international governmental, think tank, and humanitarian organisations that “fall within the strategic interests of the Chinese government” were among the organisations that the China-sponsored hacking group spoofed.

The China-based hacking gang targeted people by sending emails with links to phishing sites that contained simple PDF files. The emails often instructed recipients to click the links in order to preview or download files. RedAlpha has carried out credential-phishing operations employing sizable operational infrastructure clusters to support campaigns for the previous three years.

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