IOTW: China Possibly To Blame For India’s 2020 Power Outage As Cyber Warfare Increases Globally

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On February 28, a report published by the U.S. cyber security firm Recorded Future, prompted India to make its own announcement regarding a widespread hacking campaign against the country.


Last October, Mumbai, India’s financial capital, suffered a massive power outage that shut down thousands of businesses, dozens of trains, and left millions without power. The power outage was initially pinned on “technical glitches.” In an increasingly nationalistic country who is working to decrease its dependence on China’s supply chain and increase its international investment appeal, the power outage wasn’t just a logistical nightmare—it was also embarrassing.

Now, home minister of the state, Anil Deshmukh, is releasing information about the outage and its possible link to a wave of Trojan horse attacks and power company data transfers. Additionally, between June and October, 8GB of data from China and other nation states snuck into the servers of Indian power companies. Blacklisted IP addresses also tried to break in en masse.

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Four months before the outage, Chinese and Indian troops engaged in a close-range skirmish at the border that involved bats wrapped in barbed wire, rocks, and batons. India reportedly lost 20 soldiers; China, four. The attack was the first to result in combat mortalities between the countries in 45 years.

Recorded Future’s investigation linked China with the power outage and theorizes that the attack on India’s infrastructure was both a warning and retaliation for the border skirmish. China denies the claim, saying, “It is highly irresponsible to accuse a particular party when there is no sufficient evidence around. China is firmly opposed to such irresponsible and ill-intentioned practice.”

Lessons Learned

India is taking extra measures to keep threat actors out of its infrastructure including strengthening firewalls, blacklisting additional IP addresses, and utilizing antivirus software.

Cyber attacks are a new form of warfare, both psychologically and with physical consequences, and level the playing field for…