The Indian Army has developed an AI Chatbot to address the growing threat of online honey trapping, a tactic that is commonly employed in international espionage and inspired by instances where the Indian military personnel fell victim to online deception by foreign intelligence operatives, the chatbot designed to assess soldiers’ susceptibility to such traps.
Honey trapping has emerged as a significant concern in the digital realm with instances of online targeting involving Pakistani intelligence operatives and Indian military personnel as well as defence executives.
Chatbots for the Indian Army
The newly invented chatbot developed by the Terrriotrial Army, operates on WhatsApp and engages in simulated conversations with soldiers mimicking various scenario. The objective is to identify individuals who may be vulnerable to deceptive tactics, enabling commanding officers to sensitives them to risk of cyber threats. The chatbots continuously learns from interactions allowing for the addition of new scenarios to enhance training effectiveness.
The deployment of this chatbot aligns with the Indian Army broader efforts to strengthen cyber security and leverage technology for defence preparedness. In addition to countering online threats, the Indian Army is introducing another AI chatbot called SAMBANDH, to connect veterans and Veer Naris or “war widows” associated with the Indian Army. SAMBANDH, a bilingual messaging bot based on WhatsApp, aims to provide a simple platform for one-on-one communication, addressing queries, and grievances, and disseminating relevant information.
These initiatives highlight the military commitment to enhancing awareness and resilience against evolving cyber threats while leveraging innovative solutions to foster communication and support community members. The adoption of AI chatbots underscores the ongoing efforts to stay ahead of technological challenges in the arena of defence and security.
An Indian Army official named Shantimay Rana was apprehended on suspicion of divulging military information to Pakistan. Allegedly, he fell victim to a honey trap orchestrated by a Pakistani woman leading to leakage of details related to the movements and maneuvers of his military unit.
Similarly, a 27-year-old Brahmos Aerospace Engineer named Nishant Aggarwal was arrested in a joint operation by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Police. He was accused of providing technical information to a Pakistani operative and was in communication with suspected Pakistani intelligence operatives using aliases like Neha Sharma and Pooja Ranjan. The law enforcement agencies revealed that despite the sensitive nature of the position Aggarwal made himself very vulnerable on the internet.
In 2023, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) detained scientist Pradeep Kurulkar who served as the head of the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) Research Establishment and Engineers Laboratory. Kurulkar had allegedly shared sensitive defense project information with an individual claiming to be Zara Dasgupta, an alleged Pakistani Intelligence Agent, as per the ATS. The DRDO scientist had maintained contact with the Pakistani agent through WhatsApp and video calling even offering to disclose a “highly classified” report on the BrahMos missile project.