Report linking Mumbai power outage to Chinese cyber attack 'highly irresponsible': Beijing

According to the New York Times report, China-linked group RedEcho may have planted malware in key power plants in India.

March 01, 2021 / 09:59 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

China on March 1 quashed a New York Times report that indicated that the mega-power outage that happened in Mumbai last year was the result of a cyber-attack. Beijing said it is 'highly irresponsible' to blame somebody for an incident without sufficient evidence.

"As staunch defender of cyber security, China firmly opposes & cracks down on all forms of cyber attacks. Speculation & fabrication have no role to play on the issue of cyber attacks. Highly irresponsible to accuse a particular party with no sufficient evidence around," Spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India wrote on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Union Power Minister RK Singh said Mumbai outage was the result of human error. "Writing to the state government about those errors so that responsibility is fixed," News18 quoted the minister as saying.

No impact or data breach due to Chinese cyber attacks, says power ministry

However, Singh stated that China did attempt sabotage in November a month after Mumbai but it did not succeed.

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According to the New York Times report, the flow of malware was detected by US-based Recorded Future and China-linked group RedEcho may have planted malware in key power plants in India. It added that at least 12 IP addresses linked to 12 power generation and transmission-related organisations in India were targeted by the Chinese group.

Meanwhile, the Power Ministry issued a statement stating that as per an email received from CERT-In on November 19, 2020, there was a threat of malware Shadow Pad at some control centres of POSOCO. Following this, actions were taken to address the threats.

The statement added that National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) informed the ministry on February 12 that the Chinese state-sponsored Red Echo is targeting the Indian power sector's Regional Load Dispatch Centres along with State Load Dispatch Centres. The ministry said that it took immediate action by blocking all the IP addresses and domains listed by NCIIPC.
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