Government sites in India are clearly vulnerable to attack. The Hindu has reported the latest incident where the Andhra Pradesh state government’s sites have been hacked, with possible data siphoned off, and a calling-card left behind. Such incidents do not inspire confidence, especially when the PM has asseverated that IT security is of some importance to national security.

Interestingly, the hackers of the AP government sites are of the old school kudos-seeking type, identifying themselves as “Bb0y” and “Hmei7”. Not all hacking is done for monetary gain or for the theft of information, but there exists a clear and present danger to vulnerable government infrastructure, which compromises national security. The presence of what appears to be Urdu script on the hacker’s calling-card image cannot escape notice since it raises questions about the possible nationality of the hackers. The timing of this hack is potentially interesting given the ongoing investigation into the recent incident in New Delhi involving an Israeli Defence Attaché’s spouse. Nation-to-nation conflicts were covered in a recent blog.

India has too many enemies or opportunistic malefactors beyond her borders and, indeed, within them. One can only hope that critical military, DRDO, ISRO, and key government (e.g. the Cabinet Ministries) IT infrastructure is very well secured. The rest of the central and state government institutions need to get their act together. It’s not rocket science.

Samir Mody
Senior Manager, K7TCL

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