Chinese Hackers Targeted Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech: Report

The hacker group has reportedly identified holes in the IT infrastructure and supply chain software of the two.

Tech and Auto
2 min read
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Cyber intelligence firm Cyfirma has told Reuters that in recent weeks, a Chinese state-backed hacking group has targeted Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, the vaccine makers behind the production of the two COVID-19 vaccines available in India at the moment.

According to Cyfirma, a Chinese hacking group called APT10, which also goes by the name Stone Panda, has identified holes in the IT infrastructure and supply chain software of the two companies.

Cyfirma Chief Executive Kumar Ritesh said the group was actively targeting SII, having reportedly found that a number of the company’s public servers are running weak web servers.


Ritesh said that the hacking group has spoken about “weak content-management system” as well, adding that it is “quite alarming,” according to Reuters.

According to Ritesh, the aim here is gaining access to intellectual property and winning a competitive advantage over India. Both India and China have been involved in manufacturing and gifting COVID-19 vaccines to other nations.

Chinese Connection to Mumbai Power Outage?

The revelation from Cyfirma comes hot-on-the-heels of a study published on Monday which suggests that the massive power outage that brought the metropolitan city of Mumbai to a grinding halt, in October 2020, may have been caused by China.

The study suggests that India’s power facilities may have come under direct attack from China, amid the clashes between the two countries in 2020.

As per the study, the cyber-campaign was conducted by a China-linked group ‘RedEcho,’ causing Mumbai hospitals to switch to emergency back-up, trains to stop, and the stock market to close.

The Maharashtra Cyber Cell has submitted a preliminary report on this, which has been now handed over to Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut. According to Deshmukh, the report findings state there is evidence which suggests there might have been a cyber-sabotage attempt.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin however has said that it is “irresponsible and ill-intentioned” to make allegations without proof.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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