Several Government Web sites were hacked by a group claiming to be from Algeria. The sites hacked include Defence Research and Development Organisation, West Bengal’s police department, Directorate of Estates (Ministry of Urban Development), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, and Rehabilitation Council of India. The message posted on the Web sites read ‘SanFour25, Algerian Hackers’ minutes after the hacking took place.

The Web site of the Prime Minister’s adviser on public information, infrastructure and innovations also came under attack. Some of these sites were down for over nine hours. The Web site of DRDO’s Recruitment and Assessment Centre is still down. Government sources said no sensitive information was stolen but a thorough investigation is being done.

The hacker group SanFour25 has carried out many attacks before but so far, they were targeted at other countries, including Israel.

This is the first time the Algerian group has hacked into Indian Web sites. Most of the previous attacks were carried out with the objective of embarrassing governments more than stealing any data. Earlier, a group called Pakistan Cyber Army had hacked into Indian Web sites and left messages mocking the government.

The systems at the Naval Command in Visakhapatnam were also hacked into recently.

Cyber warfare has become a serious issue globally with terrorists using the Internet to steal data and sensitive information. There have been instances where the hackers have been sponsored by Governments to attack rival countries.

To counter this, several countries are pushing laws aimed at getting greater control over the Internet. India is also putting in place a blueprint for protecting its cyberspace, including setting up an army of security experts to counter attacks from unfriendly groups.

PTI reports: Five Government Web sites, including that of the DRDO’s, which were attacked by Algeria-based hackers have been restored by cyber security sleuths, a top official said on Thursday.

“Five sites were hacked on the night of October 29 by Algerian hackers. We have restored the Web sites.

Vulnerabilities have been found and we are strengthening these Web sites,” Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (ICERT) Director-General Gulshan Rai told PTI.

thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 1, 2012)
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