During the last three months alone as many as 112 government websites have been hacked. The list of hacked websites include that of the Planning Commission, the Finance Ministry and various State government agencies, were hacked or defaced. The attacks on government websites indicate their vulnerability, especially those ending with gov.in as a top level domain.
“During the period December 2011 to February 2012, a total number of 112 government websites were hacked,” Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
While the website of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd was hacked on December 4, 2011 by the ‘H4tr!ck’ hacker group, the websites of Finance, Health, Human Resource Development ministries and Planning Commission were also defaced. Various State government websites that came under attack were from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Sachin Pilot assured the Lok Sabha that government websites were upgrading their skills to tackle the ever-growing threat from hackers. Firewalls were being upgraded and new filters added to ensure that hackers could not target government websites. Department of Information Technology and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) were looking at advanced technologies for improving the security of government websites.
Last year, the government had to face a major embarrassment after the Central Bureau of Investigation website was hacked and defaced by programmers, who identified themselves as the “Pakistani Cyber Army.” It took weeks before the website was fully restored.