Warning Issued To Defence Personnel

Defence Ministry Targeted For Phishing

Warning Issued for Defence Personnel

The defence ministry has issued an emergency warning to all defence personnel not to open a malicious email making the rounds of the defence services. It all started after the Armed Forces were targeted for a cyber-attack on Friday 6th December. The attempt alerted the cyber wing of our tri-services (Army, Navy, Air Force). After the cyber wing got to the bottom of the matter, they traced the source of the attack to a phishing email containing a bait link.

 

The Threatening Email

The subject of the email is simply ‘Notice’. As simple as this sounds, this is still a clever ruse as such emails are likely to be opened by the personnel. In the body of the email contains a fraudulent link with the title HNQ Notice File.xls, once again creating a false mission-critical atmosphere. Clicking the link triggers a malicious code which launches an all-out phishing attack.

The cyber wing has drilled down the source of the email to a particular email id, which is prvinayak.598k@gov.in.

 

Cautionary Steps

The emergency alert cautioned that any email with the above subject, originator and link should be treated with suspicion. “Do not access the email from the inbox if received. Report or delete it immediately,” the alert stated.

A high ranking official from the army has went on record to state that cyber-crime has seeped into defence conducts. Our defences are being targeted for theft of highly sensitive information and strategies. The cyber wing, which falls under the command of the defence ministry, has uncovered that the perpetrators of such types of attacks originate from either Pakistan or China. Pakistan Intelligence Operatives have also been trying to contact Indian Army personnel fraudulent IP addresses. The operatives masquerade as security officials from either tri service department.

To counter this rise in ‘cyber-warfare’, the Armed Forces have devised the institution of a full-fledged defence cyber agency. This Agency will be trained to tackle military cyber-issues and combat both prevalent and expected threats of foreign hackers.

 

How do such high-level proceedings affect small to large corporations?

The Internet is a giant tangle of information, which can spread rapidly any time newer developments in cyber-crime are reported. While this is good from a ‘spreading awareness’ perspective, this same information can be twisted to serve malicious intents. If you notice, phishing takes more or less similar forms: create fake urgency, bait victims with fraudulent code, get the malicious code up and running.

Our defences are backed with some of the most advanced cyber-safety techniques. And yet, they’re under threat. Then why won’t cybercriminals target organizations that have lesser fortifications on their systems? Something worth considering.

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