Citing security concerns, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has barred personnel from using 42 smartphone applications developed by Chinese companies, according to a media report.
“A number of Android/IOS apps by Chinese developers or having Chinese links are either spyware or malicious ware. Use of these apps by our force personnel can be detrimental to data security having implications on the Force and national security,” The New Indian Express quoted a communication of the CRPF to all its formations.
“It is requested that all officers and men under your command may be advised not to use these apps either in office or on personal mobile phones. If some of them are already using any of these apps then they should be asked to immediately uninstall the app and format their cellphones. For strict compliance, please.”
Through the advisory dated November 24, the Information Technology Cell of the CRPF Directorate here also directed all its formations to issue comprehensive guidelines on using mobile applications with Chinese origin. The circular includes a list of 42 mobile applications against which the CRPF has issued the directive.
The list of banned products for troops includes micro-blogging site Weibo, WeChat messenger, file transfer app Shareit, popular mobile web browser UC browser, and multiple account logger, Parallel Space.
In December 2015, India’s defence ministry had restricted internet access and stopped the use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices in South Block due to fears of attacks from Chinese hackers, according to a report in theprint.in website.
Earlier, in April 2015, a Singapore-based cyber security firm claimed to have uncovered a Chinese cyber espionage network targeting Indian military, aerospace and maritime sectors with a bug named APT30.
The bug used decoy documents on Indian military movements in the South China Sea, news on indigenous aircraft carrier in Kochi and China border incidents to spread them on Indian government-controlled computers and phones.
(Featured photo for representational purpose)