The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has asked troops posted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the border with China, warning them of a possible cyber-attack through the Chinese popular mobile phone apps and devices.
The Indian security establishment has asked troops to delete a number of mobile applications like WeChat, Truecaller, Weibo, UC Browser and UC News from their smartphones, or reformat their devices altogether, to avoid espionage attempts from across the border.
According to reports, the advisory comes in the wake of inputs received by the Union Home Ministry from agencies like the RAW and NTRO.
The inputs claimed that foreign intelligence agencies, especially from China and Pakistan, were using such mobile apps to break into smartphones and steal data.
There is a possibility of these apps transmitting sensitive personal data to the Chinese authorities, which could be a major security disaster, the advisory states.
While it is not clear whether any agency has reported any case of espionage through the cyber route, this is not the first time that red flags have been raised over defence forces being targeted by Chinese hackers.
In 2012, India had faced its biggest cyber attack when the ITBP was compromised. The attack was tracked to North Korea.
ITBP's positions, troop movement, bunkers and other critical information was reportedly leaked at that time. This time too, cyber security agencies have warned that ITBP is particularly vulnerable.