Cybersecurity expert claims hackers attacked 48 government sites in five months this year

Hyderabad: The government had earlier reported that only 25 government sites were hacked until May this year. However, an independent study by ethical hacker and cybersecurity researcher Rishi Dwivedi reveals that around 48 government websites were hacked until May.

Reportedly, hackers have defaced 46 Central and State government websites until September this year. As per the information reported to and tracked by India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), hackers attacked 19,378 Indian websites until September 2019. Out of the defaced government websites, 25 sites were hacked until May, and 46 by September. Of this, National Informatics Centre hosts eight websites.

Rishi Dwivedi used some news sites, Google queries, and social media platforms to compile the data. Speaking to NewsMeter, he said, “Government sites are being hacked despite precautionary measures. It happens because of the security flaws as well as a lack of governance. Various ethical hackers reported the vulnerability in Indian sites. However, they are not being monitored, and so the hackers are taking advantage.”

He added that he has already reported more than 100 vulnerabilities in various sites, but none of them has been fixed.

Telangana Southern Power Distribution Company Limited, Punjab Public Service Commission, Kerala State Human Rights Commission and Services for the blind are a few of the victims from the list of 48 sites prepared by Dwivedi.

Meanwhile, educational sites are the worst hit by hackers in India. Majority of the sites listed by Dwivedi belongs to government educational institutions. IIT Delhi, IIT Varanasi, Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Army Institute of Management & Technology Greater Noida and Kolkata are a few from the list.

Out of the 48 sites hacked, 14 were hacked from Pakistan, six from India, seven from China, two from Turkey, and one from Indonesia.

As per government records, 199 (2016), 172 (2017), and 110 (2018) websites of Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments were hacked in the three years.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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