The Mumbai airport website (http://www.csia.in/) was defaced on Thursday by hackers who claimed to be based in Pakistan. The attackers also tried to create a scare by putting a false alert on the website that hundreds were feared dead in a plane crash.
The Mumbai Cyber Police has launched a probe into the incident. The authorities decided to pull down the website after they learned about the hacking incident about 10 am.
According to airport officials, they were shocked to find the image of a commercial plane wreckage on the homepage of the website with the caption ‘Plane crash at Mumbai airport. Hundreds feared dead’. They realised that it was a false alarm when they scrolled down the page to find the rider ‘Just joking’.
A message on the website also warned the Indian authorities to not mess with Pakistan, particularly on cyberspace, as it claimed that attacks on some Pakistani websites originated in India. The hackers boasted that they had successfully compromised and infiltrated India’s transport system now.
Confirming the attack, a spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said the police were informed and an FIR lodged as hacking was a serious offence punishable under the Information Technology Act. The spokesperson added that efforts were on to restore the website.
However, the website could not be restored till 10.15 p.m. A police officer dealing with cyber crimes said majority of the hacking attempts on Indian websites originated in Pakistan.
“Hacking is a laborious and time-consuming activity. Finding a loophole on a website to infiltrate is like finding a needle in a haystack and only those with lots of time on their hands would be able to do this. We believe Pakistan is nurturing hackers and its clandestine state-sponsored activity is aimed at its rival countries,” the officer said.