Senior government officials said that the Chinese had been mounting cyber attacks on Indian sites. These attacks are not isolated incidents of something so generic or basic as hacking, but they are far more sophisticated and complete.
The Chinese are constantly scanning and mapping India’s official networks. This gives them a very good idea of not only the content but also of how to disable the networks or distract them during a conflict, thus gaining an asymmetrical advantage over a potential adversary.
The big attacks that were sourced to China over the last few months included an attack on NIC (National Infomatics Centre), which was aimed at the National Security Council, and on the MEA. Other government networks are routinely targeted though they haven’t been disabled.
An effort is under way to set up defence mechanisms, but cyber warfare is yet to become a big component of India’s security doctrine. The real gap is that a retaliatory offensive system is yet to be created.