Tensions between India and Pakistan continue to rise, with hackers gaining some attention for their recent actions.
A hacker from Pakistan has accessed Indian servers containing real time information about the official vehicles of various Indian government departments. This includes Indian Police vehicles, writes Aamir Attaa for Pro Pakistani. In a separate incident, Indian pilots report that hackers have been accessing communications frequencies and playing pro-Pakistani music.
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Hacker can track Indian police vehicles in real-time
The hacker has been named as “Fakir,” and is part of the Pakistan haxors Crew. The individual says that they accessed the servers and could control Indian police vehicles.
Fakir made the revelations at a very sensitive time for the two nations. Tensions have been rising due to a number of incidents both on the ground and in cyberspace.
However this is the first time that a hacker from Pakistan has been able to see such critical information from a key Indian government department.
During an interview with Pro Pakistani, the hacker said that they can see real time location data, direction of movement, current driving speed and other info. “I can even jam these Indian Police vehicles”, the hacker claimed.
Cyber warfare increasingly important
This level of access means that the hacker can find out where Indian police vehicles are and track them on a Google map. This kind of information puts the security of police vehicles at risk.
Fakir did not confirm how many vehicles he could control. However he did say that the compromised GPS servers control vehicles from the Police, Food and other departments.
The hacker proved that he had access by demonstrating the interface to an editor from Pro Pakistani. Fakir warned that the demonstration was just the beginning of a cyber war between the two nations.
This week it was also reported that Pakistani hackers have been annoying Indian pilots coming into land at airports in the disputed region of Kashmir. Pilots report that when they are coming into land the communications frequencies used to communicate with air traffic control are being jammed by hackers.
Indian pilots complain about patriotic Pakistani music
After blocking communications, the hackers then play patriotic Pakistani songs such as “Dil Dil Pakistan.” The title means “heart heart Pakistan” in English.
“We are forced to hear songs like ‘Dil dil Pakistan, jaan jaan Pakistan.’ In such a situation, we revert to the Northern Control in Udhampur. This IAF-run ATC coordinates with aircraft when they are over 10,000 feet high and on descending below that level, we switch over to the Jammu tower,” said one senior pilot.
“We use VHF, which is line of sight communication and is known as ‘if you can see us, you can talk to us.’ Due to this, hackers frequently jam our frequency with ATC and start playing their music. This is a big irritant as we are in final stage of landing,” said another pilot.
Both of these incidents show that cybersecurity is an increasingly important part of relations between the two nations. India and Pakistan have been suffering a severely strained relationship in the past few months due to anti-India protests in the disputed Kashmir region and the recent controversy over Indian surgical strikes.
Tensions on the rise between India and Pakistan
More than 80 people have been killed during anti-India demonstrations, the majority of them protesters. Pakistan has criticized India’s handling of the protests.
Further controversy was caused by a recent militant attack on an Indian army base which left 18 soldiers dead. India blamed Pakistan for masterminding the attack, a claim that Islamabad denies.
The Indian public has been calling for action from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last week Indian authorities claimed that they had sent special forces to carry out a so-called surgical strike on Pakistani territory.
The alleged target was a group of militants that were planning an attack on Indian soil. However Pakistan claims that there was no surgical strike. Instead Indian forces shelled Pakistani positions, resulting in the deaths of two soldiers.
Relations continue to worsen, with rhetoric from both sides becoming increasingly aggressive. Both nations have been discouraged from undertaking military action in the past due to the nuclear capabilities of its neighbor. Both India and Pakistan hold over 100 nuclear warheads each.
While the threat of nuclear strikes may discourage all-out war, it looks like border skirmishes will continue. The frontier in Kashmir sees regular exchanges of fire.
At the same time a new front may be opening up, with hackers attempting to get the upper hand in cyber security. A breach of GPS servers could be incredibly important if military action were being planned, and Indian officials will surely be investigating the hacker’s claims.