Tata, Vodafone and Airtel under cyberattack

By:
Bill Boyle
Published on:

Some of India’s biggest ISPs have been under sustained cyberattacks this summer. The attacks have been widespread and cover Mumbai and Maharashtra

Major Indian ISPs such as Tata Communications, Airtel and Vodafone in Mumbai, Maharashtra and other regions have been hit by large Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyberattacks, mostly in July.

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha told the Indian media: “A case has been reported of DDoS attacks on July 18, 2016, in the network of Syscon Infoway Pvt, a class B internet service provider (ISP) operating in Maharashtra, Goa and Mumbai. As per the licensee, services were restored by July 24, 2016.” This means that some connections were off or suffering intermittent downtime for a week.

DDoS is short for Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS is a type of DOS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a Trojan, are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. The attacks are often carried out with the help of Botnets, armies of infected nodes, which are hired from cyber criminals especially for the attack.

“The DDoS attack was launched from the multiple internet protocol (IP) addresses from different countries through the upstream service provider Tata Communications, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Syscon, after rearranging the upstream bandwidths and help from the upstream service providers was able to contain the DDoS attack,” Sinha said in a statement.

He was replying to a question about an alleged cyberattack in the last week which has been responsible for slow internet speeds across Maharashtra.

Sinha also said that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has analysed the reports and logs to identify the nature of the attack.

"The said analysis has revealed that the attack originated from improperly configured systems located across various counties. Accordingly, measures have been taken in coordination with the ISPs and respective CERTs of the countries to mitigate the attack sources," Sinha said.