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The website of the Ministry of Defence was ‘hacked’ on Friday evening, reported PTI, quoting officials. According to officials, there were Chinese characters on the website, indicating that Chinese hackers may be involved in it.

Moreover, to everyone’s surprise, three more websites of — home, law and labour ministries, also crashed this evening around the same time, which raised suspicion that these had been hacked. But a top cyber security official emphatically denied any hacking and blamed the issue to be a hardware problem. The home ministry also denied that its website had been hacked.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) also denied reports of hack of Defense Ministry website, instead terming the matter a “technical issue,” reported ANI. “Ministry of Defence website is not hacked. There is some technical issue since 2:30pm today,” said NIC manifesting the ignorant approach.

Later, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman took to Twitter to say that “Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website ( http://mod.nic.in ). The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken. @DefenceMinIndia @PIB_India @PIBHindi,” Sitharaman tweeted.

Eventually, websites of defence and labour ministries have been restored, although sites of home and law ministries are still down till writing this story.

The above news was taken from reports of NDTV.com and Times of India.

The National Informatics Centre, which maintains all these the government websites, is apparently using an in-house developed CMS (Content Management System) which is named as Content Management Framework a.k.a CMF, which was launched as part of the ‘Digital India’ programme, and is primarily directed towards making government Websites more usable, user centric and unusually accessible. Security feature is perhaps missing from the CMF features list.

Unlike to India, the US however do not use any in house built CMS at all instead they use the same CMS/software that are already available in market and mostly open source software such as Drupal, WordPress, IBM WebSphere WCM and Documentum, among others.

Drupal powers more than 150 sites for the US federal government, including the White House; the House of Representatives; NASA; and the departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, Health, Defense, Justice, Transportation, Homeland Security and Agriculture. It was perhaps the 2009 decision to move Whitehouse.gov and its associated sites to Drupal that gave the open source platform its biggest boost and gave other government agencies the confidence they needed to follow suit. To date, 34 state and territory agencies also use Drupal, with every new adopter solidifying the offering and creating new avenues for innovation. [Read More Here]

Earlier in March, a report in PTI stated that over 22,000 incidents of hacking of Indian websites were reported between April 2017 to January 2018. The report also mentioned that 114 government portals were hacked over that period. In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Electronics and IT K J Alphons had then stated, “As per information reported to and tracked by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a total of 22,207 Indian websites including 114 government websites were hacked during April 2017 to January 2018. A total number of 493 affected websites were used for malware propagation.”

In February, IndianWeb2 reported that how a security analyst discovered that the official website of Start-up India was –or probably still — infected with a hidden Trojan virus.

Last October, an IBM study report warned India that despite talents and tools, the country is still unprepared to protect itself from a big cyberattack.

Last year, India’s billion dollar valued startup Zomato was hacked and passwords of about 17 million users were stole, however later the company managed to brought every thing in right place. Prior to that, in 2015 cab-hailing startup Ola website got hacked however the company denied any breach.

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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