Nishtha KanalAug 19, 2013 10:24:14 IST
Close on the heels of MTNL Mumbai’s website being hacked by a Pakistani hacker, it has been revealed that about 1,300 government websites have been broken into with malicious intent since 2009.
According to a report by The Times of India, the past four years have seen over a thousand government websites being hacked into, and the blame could well lie with the laxity shown by government officials to secure websites. A cyber expert named Vijay Mukhi told the publication that the government departments and public sector agencies unwillingness to look into upgrades and security are the main causes of vulnerabilities on the website.
Government departments laxity causing hacks? (Image credit: The Daily Caller)
The MTNL website was hacked on the eve of the Indian Independence Day – which is Pakistan’s day of independence – by a hacker in Sydney, Australia. The hacker claims to be of Pakistani descent and also broke into websites of the Pune Traffic Police and a city organisation's called Janwani.org.
Mukhi says that while he isn’t completely aware of the damage caused by this hack, it was possible that this hacker could have accessed call and billing data and also manipulated them. MTNL’s Executive Director, Piyush Agarwal, refuted the claims of laxity as far as running the website and its security went. He said that MTNL trained its network maintenance staff regularly through professional network security companies. He also claimed that only the webpage and server log files were damaged in the attack.
While investigations regarding the pre-Independence day hack are still on, it raises an important question regarding the security of government websites. These websites run by the country’s administration are regularly targeted by anti-social elements – more often than not from other countries. It’s high time the government opened up for professionals to jump in and help maintain these websites for them.
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