A private U.S. cybersecurity firm reported that a likely state-sponsored Chinese group conducted a recent intrusion operation targeting India’s electricity sector on Wednesday in the Ladach area that’s in dispute.

The Insikt Group, a Recorded Future’s threat intelligence research arm, posted that seven Indian state centers responsible for electrical dispatch and grid control along a border area contested by the two nuclear neighbors for months were the hackers’ target.

The hacker group primarily used ShadowPad, built by Chinese Ministry of State Security contractors, leading to the conclusion that it was a state-sponsored hacking activity.

The report stated, “ShadowPad continues to be employed by an ever–increasing number of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Ministry of State Security (MSS)-linked groups, with its origins linked to known MSS contractors first using the tool in their own operations and later likely acting as a digital quartermaster.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday, April 7, “I noted relevant reports. We have reiterated many times that China firmly opposes and combats all forms of cyberattacks in accordance with law. We will never encourage, support, or condone cyberattacks.”

He went on to say that cyberspace was virtual and had a lot of actors and that there should be enough proof to designate significant instances.

According to the Times of India, India Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh said, “Our defense against cyberattack is strong. These were probing attacks in December, January, and February. They did not succeed. But we are aware.”

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