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Cyber espionage war heats up.

Indian hackers are reportedly attempting to spy on Pakistani users by hacking their mobile phones through WhatsApp video calling feature. The National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board (NTISB) has also issued an advisory warning against potential cell phone hack by Indian hackers and called for prevention of cyber espionage.

The advisory reads that the "hackers are taking advantage and sending false emails and messages to install malicious app in the garb of enabling WhatsApp video feature."

NTISB has traced links of hackers and they originate from Mumbai. Reports said the 'hostile Indian agencies' were now using the cyber space to target Pakistan.

The malware sent through WhatsApp video calling can capture all data of the mobile and transfer data to the hacker.

The users, in case of any such cyber attack on their cell phone, should immediately reset to factory settings to neutralise the malware effect.

In November last year, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications issued a web user advisory warning against a scam involving WhatsApp video calling.

It said "WhatsApp recently added fully encrypted video calling to its messaging app. However, scammers have exploited the rollout of the popular feature by circulating links inviting people to download it, in turn exposing personal details.

"By clicking the web link received through such an invite, the user is led to a legitimate looking process actually carried through a spoofed website carrying a malicious code. The process at the end asks the users to invite more friends which inevitably leads to further spread of the hack," a press release read.

"Keeping in mind the popularity of WhatsApp with messaging users, it is important that Pakistani users are aware of this scam so they can take immediate measures to limit exposure to its data protection consequences" a spokesman for Ministry of ITandT was quoted as saying.

It is to mention here that the Indian hackers have attacked and hacked more than 250 Pakistani websites. These websites included several government websites, including the websites of the President of Pakistan and Pakistan Railways.

The groups involved in these hacks on the websites go by the names, "The Mallu Cyber Soldiers," and, "Hell Shield Hackers." This counter-attack was launched after a user named "Faisal1337" hacked the website and posted derogatory messages against the Indian government. The message displayed the name of the hacker group, "Team Pak Cyber Attacker."

Immediately and in retaliation, The Mallu Cyber Soldiers claimed that they hacked over 100 Pakistani government websites... within 24 hours, more than 250 Pakistani websites were hacked by the Indian hackers.

The turf war between Indian and Pakistani hackers is a very common one. In May of last year, Pakistani hackers hacked the website and stole data belonging to more than 12.5 million subscribers. Prior to that, Pakistani hackers stole sensitive government information, which was detected by FireEye - an IT security firm.

Unlike the real world, where there are various physical constraints, the cyber world has no boundaries. The fight often becomes intense when in cyberspace and there have been numerous instances when Pakistani hackers have attacked Indian websites and Indian hackers have retaliated. This time, however, the retaliation of the Indian attackers was swift and severe.

The cyber world is full of such instances where websites belonging to government bodies are hacked frequently. There have been several incidents of US government websites being hacked by Chinese hackers, as well as Russian hackers. The external conflict between India and Pakistan, however, is the major reason behind the animosity between Indian and Pakistani hackers.

The National Green Tribunal's website came under attack with Pakistani group hacking it and posting profanities, claiming it was an act of "revenge".

"We are Unbeatable. You... kill innocent people in Kashmir and call yourself defenders of your country. You...violate the ceasefire on border and call it 'Surgical Strikes'. Now kiss the burn of Cyber War," the hackers said in the post replete with expletives.

A day after the incident with the National Green Tribunal, another group hacked the website of a university and posted "Pakistan Zindabad" slogan on it.

Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean studies (KUFOS) authorities said they filed a complaint with the cyber cell of the state police after the incident was noticed.

"Given the serious nature of the incident, we immediately alerted the security agencies. They had posted 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan on our website," the university's registrar VM Victor George said. A group of Pakistani hackers have claimed that they have hacked 7,070 Indian websites and released a list of names.

Pakistani hackers tapped into the frequency on which pilots of Indian carriers landing into airports close to the LoC - Jammu and Thoise Air Force base - operate and blocked communication. The hackers then started transmitting Pakistani patriotic songs on the same frequency, which then played out in the cockpits.

This hampered the landing process for these pilots who found the songs irritating.
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Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 31, 2017
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