The Chinese government’s network analysts are using sophisticated surveillance equipment to tap India’s internet infrastructure, according to a leaked report from India’s Information Technology and Innovation Ministry.

The report, which was posted online, shows the Chinese network is using two main technologies to monitor India’s networks: a system called an “informatics platform” and a “network analytics platform”.

The Chinese intelligence apparatus is said to have amassed a collection of around 200 million “keywords” of India’s online activities, including IP addresses, web searches, and even phone numbers, as well as email addresses.

“We have been monitoring these keywords for the last two years,” the report said.

Analysts have found that the Chinese “platform” has been running a surveillance system on the backbone of India, and is collecting information about traffic flows on top of India-India connectivity.

As part of this surveillance, the Chinese intelligence service has been using an open-source software tool called “Bolton”.

In the report, it noted that the Bolton tool can be used to track the “keyword” of an IP address.

This would then allow it to “predict” where that IP address will go, the report added.

The Bolton “platform”, which has been in use since the mid-2000s, was installed in India’s national IT grid, the Indian Information Technology Infrastructure (IITI) and Communications Infrastructure (ITIC) Ministry said in a statement.

According to the report by the Information Technology Ministry, the Boltons “platform has been used for surveillance on more than 1,000 IP addresses and over 700,000 keywords”.

China is not the only country in India to use Bolton, with other countries like the United States and the UK also employing similar tools.

In December last year, the IITI and ICICOM shared details of China’s use of the Bolons tools.

In May this year, India announced a new cybersecurity law that would make it mandatory for the Indian government to protect internet and communications infrastructure against cyber threats, and that will help to “strengthen security and stability of the Internet and communications”.

Earlier this month, the World Economic Forum in Davos announced a global cyber summit that was set to focus on cybersecurity and cyber security.

Earlier, India had also announced a cybercrime strategy to tackle cybercrime, and in February this year the country was ranked among the top 20 countries in the world for the number of cyberattacks on the internet, according the World Bank.

With inputs from Reuters

Tags: