China opens another front, steps up cyberattacks that target India: Intel

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China has opened another front against India with sustained DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks on Indian information websites and the country’s financial payments system. DDOS attacks are malicious attempts to overwhelm a network by flooding it with artificially created internet traffic. A variety of targets were zeroed in on, including government websites and the banking system including ATMs.

Most of the attacks were traced back to the central Chinese city of Chengdu. The capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu is known for being the headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army’s Unit 61398, the Chinese military’s primary covert cyberwarfare section. The attacks began on Tuesday and continued through Wednesday, said people aware of the developments, but they largely proved unsuccessful.

Chengdu is also home to a large number of hacker groups, many of whom are hired by Chinese government agencies to provide a cover for their operations. While cyberattacks against India normally come from Pakistan or from known hacker-for-hire centres in Central Europe or the United States, the past two days has seen a surge in attacks coming directly from China.