US probes alleged India hacking of commission

Jan 10, 2012
US authorities have been asked to investigate allegations that hackers India used back-door codes provided by companies to spy on private exchanges by a US commission on China, an official said Tuesday.

US authorities have been asked to investigate allegations that hackers India used back-door codes provided by companies to spy on private exchanges by a US commission on China, an official said Tuesday.

A calling itself the Lords of Dharmaraja released excerpts of documents that it said were part of an Indian intelligence unit's surveillance of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

"We are aware of these reports and have contacted relevant authorities to investigate the matter," commission spokesman Jonathan Weston said. He declined further comment.

The commission, which consists of 12 experts, was set up by Congress in 2000 to monitor the security implications of US trade with China. It publicly releases findings and recently produced an extensive study on alleged Chinese cyber-espionage.

The email exchanges released by the hackers showed the commissioners discussing their wording on issues such as arms sales to Taiwan and China's currency valuation but did not appear to contain bombshells.

However, a purported document on Indian military letterhead states that spies were able to access the exchanges through a "backdoors" method made available to Indian authorities by .

"Decision was made earlier this year to sign an agreement with mobile manufacturers in exchange for the Indian market presence," said the alleged document dated October 6.

It specifically names BlackBerry smartphones' Canadian maker (RIM), US tech giant Apple and Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia.

It was not possible to verify independently the authenticity of the document, which unclearly speaks of authorization for the operation by "the President."

Representatives from the companies and the Indian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

India a year ago resolved a prolonged standoff with RIM after authorities complained that terrorists could use encrypted BlackBerry messages.

BlackBerry said in January 2011 it would allow the Indian government to monitor BlackBerry messenger and public email services, but not corporate emails.

India has uneasy relations with fellow Asian giant China. India recently lodged a protest after two of its nationals alleged that they were tortured in a hotel room over a business dispute in the city of Yiwu.

Relations also remain tense over a border dispute and India's welcoming of thousands of Tibetans who fled Chinese rule, including the Dalai Lama.

Explore further: Starbucks: Computer outage disrupts sales in US, Canada

Related Stories

BlackBerry 'puts monitoring centre' in India

Oct 28, 2011

Research In Motion (RIM) has set up a facility in Mumbai to help the Indian government conduct surveillance checks on the company's BlackBerry services, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

India insists on access to BlackBerry emails

Jan 31, 2011

India said on Monday it will "insist" that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) gives law enforcers a way to monitor its corporate email service as a deadline for the company to comply expired. ...

India says no BlackBerry solution so far

Dec 03, 2010

India said Friday no solution has been found to an ongoing standoff over BlackBerry's messaging services, which it has threatened to shut down unless its intelligence agencies can monitor them.

Recommended for you

How smart are the mobile shoppers who use smartphones?

Apr 24, 2015

In the age of the smart phone, how smart are the mobile shoppers who use these almost ubiquitous devices? A study from South Korea published in the International Journal of Mobile Communications hopes to answer that questi ...

India's Infosys gives muted earnings, stock falls

Apr 24, 2015

Indian software giant Infosys Technologies saw its shares dip nearly seven percent Friday after it reported a single digit rise in yearly revenues and also missed quarterly profit estimates.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.