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Did Chinese hackers create Mumbai power cut?

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 • Tamil Comments

In October last year, a long spell of power cut in Mumbai threw out of gear the Maximum City's life for several hours. Earlier in the week, New York Times quoted a study by US-based Recorded Future as saying that the power outage was engineered through malware by China. This came, as per the report, in the context of the simmering border tensions between India and China. The report suggested that it was a warning to India by China.

On its part, the government has said that no data breach or data loss has been detected due to these incidents. The Mumbai outage was not mentioned in the context of the comment on the NYT report.

A report by NDTV says that the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre in February alerted the Ministry of Power of the threat by Chinese state-sponsored hackers.

In the wake of the NYT expose, many are calling for self-reliance in the realm of technology. We use Chinese phones and electrical appliances, on a large scale. "The NYT expose on Chinese cyber-attack crippling Maharashtra power supply is a reminder of the new nature of warfare. It will be fought with computers, AI and malware more than with guns, jets or missiles. India needs to be much better prepared (sic)," senior journalist Sekhar Gupta wrote.

There is a counter-view. The Mumbai outage was not the handiwork of Chinese hackers and the claim that it may have been done by China was deliberately planted in the media by an embarrassed China, which recently had to "drop the ball" on Galwan.

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