Israel-India Retain Cyber Alliance in the face of Joint Hybrid War by China & Pakistan

Pegasus

In the wake of Pegasus project revelations, India is into criticism from several nations aiming to strengthen their cyber front. The country has been accused of using Israel’s Pegasus spyware against opposition, union ministers, and journalists etc. Many of these targets claimed that the government wanted to “turn India into a surveillance state where democracy is in danger”.

Over time, India and Israel have collaborated on various occasions to combat the emerging cyberspace vulnerabilities. One of the cyber agreements between the two countries was signed last year. The objective was to deepen cooperation and confront the global cyber threats.

Today, Israel with advanced technology and experience in dealing with cyberattacks, is both contributing in & benefiting from India. The active cooperation between the two countries could expand the extent of shared cyber threat information, & raise the cyberspace protection level.

But, how long will the collaborative effort last? In the recent turn of events, it appears that China, that has an ironclad friendship with Pakistan, launched a coordinated cyberattack against Israel. The aim was to take its revenge against India.

Recently, FireEye, an international cybersecurity firm, revealed China’s large-scale cyberattack on Israel. The Chinese malware attacked by exploiting loophole in servers and stole data, emails and hundreds of documents of Israeli government and private organisations.This attack has also heightened the scope of closure of several Chinese infrastructure projects in Israel. According to some experts, this could spell the end of the India-Israel cyber collaboration.

India, a tier-three country, has been a constant target of cyberattacks from China and Pakistan. To combat cybattacks, India is developing offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. Phronesis, Aglaya, Dark Basin and Srivastava Group are some of the Indian private firms that have prompted India’s cyber development.

Earlier this month, Pakistan accused the Indian government of spying on its Prime Minister Imran Khan using the Pegasus spyware. The accusations have brought a flurry of criticism for India. French non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International brought the revelation when they accessed a leaked database of 50,000 phone numbers allegedly targeted by Pegasus.

According to the Guardian, 38 journalists in Morocco, 48 journalists in Azerbaijan, 12 journalists in the United Arab Emirates and 38 journalists in India have become the targets of the Israeli spyware. Pakistan, on the other hand, claims itself to be a target of Indian surveillance via the Pegasus spyware.

Clearly, the India-Pakistan conflict has taken a new turn in the age of fifth generation warfare. Both the countries have launched misinformation campaigns against one another. A 2020 report by EU DisinfoLab disclosed that India’s Srivastava Group was targeting Pakistan through social media disinformation campaigns. The Pakistani government has asked the United Nations to investigate into the matter and shed light on the truth.

Whereas China & Pakistan collaborate to wage a hybrid warfare, India is working to expand its strategic geopolitical reach. India is Israel’s third-largest Asian trading partner, and it aspires to join the tier one nations with the use of superior cyber tools & technology.

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