India raises concern over China's cyber incursions

“Space and cyber domains are being talked of as the next frontiers to be conquered. The next generation of threats will undoubtedly emerge out of cyber security,” Defence Minister A K Antony said in a veiled reference to China.

Top Army officials said People Liberation Army intended to set up a  cyber division with increased focus on computer-centric operations. At the moment, Chinese militia operates two hacker brigade and is on an expansion mode.

Canadian IT researchers  recently found that a large number of Chinese hackers were operating major global hacking networks, siphoning off crucial strategic information. Addressing the valedictory function of golden jubilee celebrations of the National Defence College,  Antony said the potential of destruction went up manifold with increasing use of sophisticated technology. “We need to make our cyber systems as secure and as non-porous as possible,” he said.

Almost similar concerns were echoed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who stated: “Cyber warfare is an area of emerging concern. Armed forces and other agencies are paying increasing attention to building expertise in this area.”

Space was another matter of concern with China proving its capability to kill satellites with missiles. To match with China’s ASAT, the Defence Research and Development Organisation has also undertaken a project to have the same capability.

Without naming China, Antony said: “Some nations are always on the lookout to provoke and encourage threats to our security and national integrity. India’s strategic location gives rise to many of these crucial challenges in no small measure.”

While Singh and Antony admitted that terrorism and non-state actors like Somali pirates are grave security threats, both aired security concerns and pointed new threat areas in the energy and environment front.

“The rise in low-intensity conflicts and irregular modes of warfare reflect this trend. Our armed forces are in the process of modernising and evolving by sharpening their skills and capabilities,” Antony said.

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