It’s not just the verbal barbs that political parties had to fend from the opponents, but even the more lethal kinds emerging from unknown hackers. As the BJP prepares for the 2014 elections, its website is increasingly coming under attack from hackers across the world.
“On any given day, an average of 1,000-1,200 attempts are made to hack our website,” an office-bearer of the BJP’s IT cell said. Most of the hacking attempts are made from China, the US, Pakistan and Commonwealth countries, and tend to go up during national events.
The BJP, which runs a high octane campaign through the internet, had to take precautions against such attacks. “We have to deploy considerable resources to save our website,” a source said, adding that the issue is met at two levels. “We bought a software to prevent hacking attacks, and even deploy two trained software professionals to continuously monitor the web,” he added.
The software that crosschecks the IP address of every visitor, however, slowed down the entry into the website. “If we try to reduce the time taken to log on to the website, we would become more prone to attacks,” a leader said. The party website has recently been revamped.
However, the actual work is done by dedicated professionals who sit in newly-set up space at party’s 11 Ashoka Road headquarters. Named as National Digital Operations Centre for the Lok Sabha elections, it works round-the-clock drawing mainly volunteers. Any given time, 20 volunteers sit on monitors to generate content for the internet users and then circulate it on Twitter and Facebook.
IT cell insiders claimed that they had repeatedly engaged with the Centre’s computer emergency response team (CERT-IN) to report on hacking attempts and viruses being spread. The CERT-IN is a one-stop government to initiative to tabulate all cyber incidents and issue warnings. “Though we have reported to CERT-IN many times, their response has been lukewarm,” another official said. However, BJP sources did not rule out hacking attempts by their political opponents.
Over 300 government websites have been hacked