NSG Website Hacked; Why India Should Strengthen Cyber Security
Despite India government’s attempts to strengthen its existing counter cyber attack mechanism, state sponsored cyber criminals have once again launched attacks on government establishment. In the latest attempt to malign the image of country’s most strategic organization, suspected Pakistan-affiliated operatives on Sunday hacked the official website of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) and defaced it with anti-India content.
According to reports, the hacking attempt was noticed early on Sunday and the URL - www.nsg.gov.in - was blocked soon after by the counter-terror force from its headquarters in New Delhi. The hackers, identifying themselves as ‘Alone Injector’, posted the offensive content on the site’s home page.
This is the fresh attempt of state sponsored cyber attack in 2017. Several strategic private, public and government organizations witnessed massive cyber attacks in 2016. In December, hacker group legion targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s and the party’s official Twitter handles. Days later, Twitter accounts of a few prominent journalists were also targeted by the same group.
Also Read: Is Indian Govt Ready For Ransomware Attacks?
The state sponsored cyber wars have turned ugly and India is always on the radar of cyber crooks. Notably, there is a sudden spike in the alleged Pakistan sponsored cyber attacks after surgical strike in PoK in October. Earlier in the same year, a malicious software named ‘Locky ransomware’ targeted computer systems in the Mantralaya in the state of Maharashtra in May. The malware reportedly infected 150 computer systems, mostly in Revenue, Public Works Department and some isolated computers in other departments.
According to reports, a group of Pakistani hackers - the Pakistan Haxors Crew - has claimed that it had defaced over 7,000 Indian websites after India launched surgical strike in PoK. The websites targeted include the official website of the National Green Tribunal and Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation.
According to information from the communication and information technology ministry, over 1000 government websites have been hacked between January, 2010, and December, 2015 including Assam Police, Sarva Siksha Abhijan Mission and Directorate of Elementary Education, IRS, nstitute of Management Studies (IMS) to name a few.
Taking a serious note of rising cyber crime incidents, the government is now mulling a review of the existing Information Technology (IT) Act to strengthen the current cyber security infrastructure in the country. The new amendments aimed at building a strong cyber security framework to address the security challenges as the country is rapidly heading towards digital economy.
In a wake of rising cyber attacks on financial institutions, a digital payment section has been created in CERT-In, an agency which monitors the Internet traffic on a real time basis given the ongoing momentum in cashless payments in the country. All digital payment firms have been asked to report any unusual movement immediately to CERT.
To strengthen cyber security, the IT ministry has recently approved 26 new posts in CERT-Inand five State CERTs. According to the reports, two major initiatives to curb cyber crime – the BotNet Centre and the National Cyber Coordination Centre will also be expedited and are expected to come up before the end of this financial year.
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