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Indian troops on China border told to format smartphones and delete 42 apps

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For a long time, intelligence about the enemy kept one ahead in the battlefield. It was said to be spying by some others says it was intelligence gathering. Over time new ways of intelligence gathering methods came. Now in this era of cyberpunk. Hacking is the new way of spying. James Bond has aged now and it’s time for hackers.

 

New Delhi: Troops published on the China border have been told to format their smartphones and delete lots of applications that intelligence has found to be detrimental to national security due to possible links to Chinese hackers.

 

A summary of 42 applications, including popular ones such as True caller and WeChat, has been banned with immediate impact and all officers and men have been told to strictly adhere to instructions to clean up both their official and personal cell phones.

“Relating to reliable inputs, a number of Android/IOS apps developed by Chinese firms or having Chinese links are reportedly either spyware or other malicious ware. Use of these applications by our personnel can be detrimental to…national security” the instructions sent to soldiers on November 24.

List of apps banned

 

  • WEIBO
  • WE CHAT
  • SHAREIT
  • TRUECALLER
  • UC NEWS
  • UC BROWSER
  • BEAUTY PLUS
  • NEWSDOG
  • VIVA VIDEO-QU VIDEO INC
  • PARALLEL SPACE
  • APUS BROWSER
  • PERFECT CORP
  • VIRUS CLEANER-HI SECURITY LAB
  • CM BROWSER
  • MI COMMUNITY
  • DU RECORDER
  • VAULT HIDE-NQ MOBILE SECURITY
  • YOUCAM MAKEUP
  • MI STORE
  • CACHE CLEANER-DU APPS STUDIO
  • DU BATTERY SAVER
  • DU CLEANER
  • DU PRIVACY
  • 360 SECURITY
  • DU BROWSER
  • CLEAN MASTER-CHEETAH MOBILE
  • BAIDU TRANSLATE
  • BAIDU MAP
  • WONDER CAMERA-BAIDU INC
  • ES FILE EXPLORER
  • PHOTO WONDER
  • QQ INTERNATIONAL
  • QQ MUSIC
  • QQ MAIL
  • QQ PLAYER
  • QQ NEWSFEED
  • WESYNC
  • QQ SECURITY CENTRE
  • SELFIE CITY
  • MAIL MASTER
  • MI VIDEO CAL-XIAOMI
  • QQ LAUNCHER

 

The intelligence inputs come after a spate of border transgressions by Chinese troops, including an almost three-month standoff at Doklam that saw a massive build-up of forces by both India and China that threatened to spin uncontrollably.

As the instructions do not contain specifics about how the applications named gather intelligence or can be utilized by Chinese agencies, they are clear that all personnel are advised never to “use these apps either in the office or on personal cell phones”.

“If some of them are already using any of these apps, then they should be asked to uninstall the app and format their cell phones immediately,” it reads.

The set of banned products for troops includes micro-blogging site Weibo, WeChat messenger, file transfer application Share it, popular mobile browser UC browser, and multiple account logger, Parallel Space. Besides, lots of applications entirely on popular Chinese smartphone brands are also on the banned list.

 

In 2015 December, the defence ministry had restricted access to the internet and stopped the utilization of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices in Southern Block due to fears of attacks from Chinese hackers. Earlier, in April 2015, a Singapore-based cybersecurity company claimed to have uncovered a Chinese cyber espionage network targeting Indian military, maritime and aerospace sectors with a bug named APT30.

 

The bug to used decoy documents on Indian military actions in the South China Sea, news on the indigenous aircraft carrier in Kochi and China border incidents to spread them on Indian government-controlled computers and phones.

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