Last Tuesday, militant organisation Al-Qaeda hacked the Indian Railways' website to display its cyber prowess, as per news reports. They hacked the page of Bhusawal division of Personnel Department of the Central Railway and left a message for Indian Muslims.
However, this is not the first incident in recent times that a website of a prominent Indian organisation or authority has been compromised. Hackers from all over the world have bypassed the securities of several governmental websites. As the Indian government pushes the 'Digital India' initiative, it should be vary of cyber threats from all around the world.
Here's a look at some of the websites that have been targeted by hackers in recent times:
1. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
Indian Telecom regulator TRAI's website was hackedsoon after it released millions of email IDs which were used to send the response to a consultation paper last April. Famous hacker group Anonymus' India wing was behind this and they claimed the responsibility on twitter as well.
2. Indian Army
In April 2015, the army's Principal Comptroller of Defence Accounts Officers (PCDAO) website was reportedly hacked in April 2015. It has personal and financial information of army personnel. Many officers were unable to access their salary information.
3. Various University website hacks
In February, JNU's library website was compromised to warn the 'anti-nationals' and 'Traitors'. The official website of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) was also hacked in the month of January and an FIR was filed by the officials to investigate the hack.
4. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Indian Space Research Organization's marketing arm Antrix saw its website hacked in July 2015. Users were redirected to a buying portal while trying to access the website. Later on, there was a 404 error on the web page. No organization or hacker took responsibility but Chinese hackers were
5. Kerala Government website
Last year in September, Pakistani hackers took down the Kerala government website and replaced its page with "Pakistan Zindabad" and "Security is just an illusion". Hackers also displayed their names and said, "We are an army of Pakistani hackers". In response, Indian hackers took down 120 Pak websites. Similar incident happened when hackers took down Indian Revenue Services (IRS) website.
6. Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI)
Pakistani hackers have been targeting Indian cyberspace since a long time. In December 2010, they attacked the intelligence agency CBI's website. The 'Pakistani Cyber Army' also left a message about filtering controls of National Informatics Center (NIC).
Even after taking security measures, a lot of websites of authorities are getting hacked. And it is not just them, even the website of consumer companies in India are being hacked and the danger of user data getting out is always lurking. Recently it was found that the website of world's cheapest phone was a security nightmare. Earlier, there have been incidents such as Ola Cabs and Microsoft India hacks have taken place.
While launching Digital India PM Narendra Modi said, "The world is terrified by this (cyberwarfare)… India has a big role to play in this. India has talent. India can provide a shield to the world by providing innovative and credible solutions. We should accept this challenge to ensure that the entire world lives in peace". We have to wait and see how much of this is implemented in the future.