More than just Kashmir: Has ISI made inroads into BSNL?

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New Delhi, Aug 8: The Indian establishment has been put into a deep worry by reports that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) might have successfully penetrated and snooped the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and also allegedly installed spyware in the Telco's systems to take control of the entire system.

Intelligence sources believe that somebody from Pakistan posing as Major Vijay from the Indian Army (after spoofing the landline number) had rung up a BSNL employee in February and received critical information through email communication in the later period.


The home ministry suspects that the sinister plan has helped the ISI to successfully install the spyware and it could contaminate the Telco's computer systems and put them in a vulnerable state. If the fears are true, the ISI will easily get access of sensitive organisations. Not only that, it would also enable Islamabad to remotely monitor the BSNL operations and allow the ISI to disrupt critical networks whenever it wishes.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) reportedly referred to this incident on July 22 and briefed the Prime Minister's Office, the cabinet secretary, the home, telecom and IT and foreign ministries and also the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

The news is bound to raise an alarm for the BSNL is working on an alternative communication network for the armed forces. The BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are also working on a network to link all government departments in the country.

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