Army sees red over its personnel chatting on Chinese apps

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by happy, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Indian army has raised the alarm over use of chat and social media apps on smartphones by its personnel and warned them that WeChat could be used by China for snooping.

    In a top secret internal communication to all military commanders, the Director General of Military Operations has asked all army personnel and their family members to restrict use of mobile applications, whose servers are hosted outside India, as it can lead to “inadvertent loss of sensitive information”.

    Referring to the telecom regulation in China, the note, which has been accessed by dna, says, “Every internet company and telecom operator in China, both foreign and domestic, is held legally liable for all content shared through their platforms.”

    The note assumes significance in the light of Centre’s policy to promote domestic manufacturers of telecom products as it is worried that foreign suppliers of telecom equipment, especially Chinese, might indulge in cyber espionage during a crisis or war.

    “Applications like WeChat, Weibo and QQ are Chinese equivalent of WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook messaging applications and pose ‘potent threat’ in the light of Chinese internet and telecom regulation,” the note says, pointing out that WeChat is developed by Tencent Holdings, China. The application is available on all popular mobile platforms including Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian.

    The app was initially launched as Weixin in China in January 2011 and rebranded as WeChat in April 2012. It is being promoted in India through gaming site Ibibo, in which Tencent holds a stake.

    “Its rich features have made WeChat an instant hit globally, its location sharing and cloud based back-up of contacts, information etc on Chinese Servers pose potent threats especially to military users,”the note claims.

    It also cited a study conducted by University of California, which discovered in April 2013 that the code of WeChat, ‘though intended to be private, was left public’. It further points out that security vulnerabilities, which expose private information allow outsiders to fraudulently post messaging from other people’s accounts, were discovered.

    “In January 2013, it was revealed that WeChat’s international messages were being censored too. This clearly indicates that all data, even of Indian users, shared through WeChat may be monitored or regulated by Chinese authorities,” the army’s internal note says.

    The army claims that the location-sharing feature of the app may be fraudulently used to track and target people, especially those working in defence, scientific, industrial research or other government sectors.

    When contacted WeChat for reaction, they declined to comment on the issue.

    “This may lead to determination of exact physical location and pattern of movement of person or group. The tracked location may also permeate to related social sites, applications which may become permanent and searchable,”the note states.

    dna exclusive: Army sees red over its personnel chatting on Chinese apps - India - DNA
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    OPSEC must never rest.
     
  4. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    How about whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook? They are not India developed applications, why not ban them all?

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  5. northernarunachalpradesh

    northernarunachalpradesh Regular Member

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    India should develope alteranatives to FB,twitter,gamil just like China.
     
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  6. sydsnyper

    sydsnyper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, please ban them in your country and stay away from everyone else....:p :p :p

     
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    funny enough it was on DFI I came to know weChat. it's more handy than Viber at least. now extensive applications of ecommerce, efinance, epayment etc. r being developed (like cab fare payable by weChat scanning)

    it's used in Asia byond China. curiously what hv IT savvy Indians put forward any indigenous stuff in parallel? othrwise yr tremendous data traffic is anyway running on foreign apps b it Twitter or FB then always futile outcry of "cyber security" .

    btw top PE investor in Tencent (eg. weChat, QQ) is a South African tycoon.

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  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Maybe it should change its name to Fiftycent Holdings?
     
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  9. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Oh, we have done that for quite a while, long before the companies which developed the applications were proved to be spies working for American government.

    Do you know that India is being heavily monitored by americans through these apps?

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  10. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    maybe its largest share holder did not allow that?

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  11. sydsnyper

    sydsnyper Senior Member Senior Member

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    We are also being monitored by you guys.......looking for our secret curry recepie... :rofl::rofl::rofl:

     
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  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/technology/a-chinese-social-network-blazes-its-own-path.html?_r=0

     
  13. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    You know what, @nimo_cn has a point!

    Snowden has already revealed what Yankees are doing and are capable of, yankees are more dangerous than chinis!

    Self reliance is the way forward and we need to imitate chinese in that regard as already suggested by @northernarunachalpradesh.
     
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  14. hitesh

    hitesh New Member

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    I don't understand If this was a top secret communication between military commanders then how this thing got in media ,may be they were communicating there top secret message through "Whats App":lol: .
    These media guys always put a topping on cake .
     
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  15. hitesh

    hitesh New Member

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    I don't understand If this was a top secret communication between military commanders then how this thing got in media ,may be they were communicating there top secret message through "Whats App":lol: .
    These media guys always put a topping on cake .
     
  16. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Maybe this was an old communique which the media got of hold of only now. Maybe....
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I remember @tarunraju had started a thread on this wechhat app and the security risk it presented.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  18. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The problem is that there seems to be a lack of security training these days and too much of enamourment to be 'with the Joneses' with their modern playthings.
     
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  20. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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  21. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why is India being silent over NSA's intense spying actions through Internet giants like Google, Facebook, etc?

    Snowden had provided you with a perfect excuse to ban all these American developed services, giving Indian domestic IT companies some breathing space to grow. Why do you people not seize the chance and do something meaningful, instead of wasting your time entangling with Chinese IT companies? For what?

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