US authorities are investigating a memo from an Indian hacker group called The Lords of Dharmaraja, that posted online email exchanges allegedly from the United States and China’s Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC). The hackers also posted additional documentation detailing India’s plans for a cyber attack against the commission.
The emails posted from The Lords of Dharmaraja were all from a six-month period last year, with several of them being addressed to Bill Reinsch, a member of the USCC.
“There is some malicious intent, but to try and work out who has done it, given the current nature of the Internet, is an exercise in futility,” said Cherian Samuel, Cyber-Security Specialist and Indo-US relations at India’s Defense Ministry-funded Institute for Defense.
The memo said, “in exchange for the Indian market presence” mobile device manufacturers have agreed to provide backdoor access on their mobile devices. The manufactures involved according to the memo included RIM, Nokia, and Apple (News - Alert).
The memo goes on to say that the information the Indian government obtains will be used to monitor and investigate the trade and economic relationship between both China and the United States.
U.S. authorities have claimed the memo and potential cyber attack have no merit, but have confirmed that a security breach has taken place. Mukesh Saini, a cyber security expert who served on India’s National Security Council, said that just about anyone could be responsible for the memo.
“There may be cooperation between India and the U.S. and the U.S. may have shared them, or India could’ve done the attack…or a third country may have handed it to India,” said Saini.
Saini continued saying if it was a hacker group there is no way to tell whether or not it was an organized attack or a small group leaking documents. Regardless, Saini had no problem pointing fingers at other possible culprits.
“Pro-Indian and pro-Pakistan individuals and small hacker groups have been attacking each other’s government and non-government Web sites, with or without the consent of their government, for a very long time,” said Saini.
At this time, Apple, RIM, and Nokia (News - Alert) have not made any official statements regarding both the alleged emails and memo.
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Edited by Jennifer Russell