”In recent months, we observed likely network intrusions targeting at least seven Indian State Load Despatch Centres (SLDCs) responsible for carrying out real-time operations for grid control and electricity dispatch within these respective states. Notably, this targeting has been geographically concentrated, with the identified SLDCs located in North India, in proximity to the disputed India-China border in Ladakh,” the group said.
“In addition to the targeting of power grid assets, we also identified the compromise of a national emergency response system and the Indian subsidiary of a multinational logistics company by the same threat activity group,” it said.
Recorded Future said they alerted the government of their findings before publishing the report.
According to the intelligence firm, considered to be among the world’s largest with a specialisation in identifying threats from state-sponsored hackers, the Chinese attackers were trying to gather information surrounding critical infrastructure systems.
”Given the continued targeting of State and Regional Load Despatch Centres in India over the past 18 months, first from RedEcho and now in this latest TAG-38 activity, this targeting is likely a long-term strategic priority for select Chinese state-sponsored threat actors active within India,” it said.
”The prolonged targeting of Indian power grid assets by Chinese state-linked groups offers limited economic espionage or traditional intelligence-gathering opportunities. We believe this targeting is instead likely intended to enable information gathering surrounding critical infrastructure systems or is pre-positioning for future activity,” it added.
”The objective for intrusions may include gaining an increased understanding into these complex systems in order to facilitate capability development for future use or gaining sufficient access across the system in preparation for future contingency operations,” Recorded Future said.
With inputs from NDTV