What is India’s Hybrid Warfare Strategy against the Adversary Nations?

Hybrid Wafare

Following the cyberspace battle, the countries around the world are building cyber offensive and defensive capabilities, while employing overt tactics to overcome their adversaries. India being the most targeted country in cyberspace, by tier two countries, is now exerting influence with the help of hybrid warfare strategy.

The consequences of hybrid warfare are considered the most lethal in the present world, for the modus operandi is irregular, uncertain, and varies from the old military war tactics. However, to counter the growing attacks from the neighbouring nations, India is adopting all the present-day global warfare tactics to knock out the regional rivals.

In 2020, FireEye described the cyberattacks on India as “the broadest campaigns by a Chinese cyber espionage actor in recent years. Several Chinese threat groups used phishing emails or Trojan malware and targeted vulnerable systems and devices that remained exposed to the internet.

So India stepped up its cyber offensive game with the help of private actors. From launching malware attacks to campaigning fake news and foreign political intervention, Indian non-state actors took advantage and attacked the adversaries in a comprehensive manner.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the non-state actors in India have defended India against cyberattacks from time to time. They have strengthened India’s cyber warfare potential, while their violent measures fitted the contemporary definitions of hybrid warfare.

In the wake of information warfare, Pakistan became the most targeted victim of Indian non-state actors. India’s Srivastava Group played an important role in discrediting Pakistan internationally. The Indian firm launched nearly 750+ fake media sites that promoted pro-government content worldwide in retaliation to Pakistan’s anti-India sentiments.

In the 15-year long global operation, the group targeted the European Union and the United Nations. Later, it even resurrected the dead media, dead individuals, think tanks, and NGOs, launching wide-scale disinformation campaigns to defame Pakistan on a global scale.

The Indian threat groups have also launched malware attacks on the regional rivals. Earlier this year, Cyberroot Risk Advisory, an Indian firm that provides cyber forensics investigation, penetration testing, physical access control, and security testing, etc. was seen to be involved in controversial incidents of hack-and-leak cases. A deep dive into the company’s business shed light upon its businesses in the Middle East and Asia.

A Delhi-based company – BellTrox that was in limelight last year for the ‘years-long hacking campaign’ that targeted more than 10,000 accounts across the globe, was involved with the CERT-In Empanelled Security Audit Company. Meanwhile, several other APT groups like SideWinder, Viceroy Tiger, etc. continued to pose prolific threats to Indian adversaries via phishing and malware attacks.

It is the lethality of the measures followed by the non-state actors that have influenced the definitions of hybrid warfare. These threat actors have proved that India has capabilities and is much more successful in terms of waging war against adversaries.

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