The Foreign Missions of India in seven countries were hacked in the past few hours by two persons going by the pseudonyms, Romantic and Intruder.
The pro-Pakistan hackers left similar warning messages on the home pages of the Indian missions in Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Romania, Tajikistan and South Africa.
The Indian embassies of Turkey, Greece and Mexico and the Consulate General of India in Sao Paolo were hacked by Romantic while the embassies of India in Romania and Tajikistan as well as the High Commission in Pretoria were hacked by Intruder.
In each instance, the hackers change the main photograph on the home page to a hooded jacket in red and black with the words “Intruder Here. You got hacked” imprinted on the image. They also left text messages that read:
“Hey Indian Government, Don't Mess With Us
Pakistan Army Zindabad
Aata Majhi Satakli ?
Don't Be Panic
We Rock And U Shock
Salute To Pakistan Army !
Feel The Power of Pakistan ! !!
Greetz -: R”
This is the latest incident in the cyberwar between the two countries since 1999 when hackers in both countries have attacked one another’s official websites. Most of the hacking is of perceived to be of nuisance value.
Last month, a Pakistani hacker, Faisal 1137 aka Faisal Afzal, defaced the Indian Railways website and a bunch of Indian hackers called the Indian Black Hats responded by attacking a Pakistani Government website. The Pakistani had hacked the official website of the Kerala Government in September last year and The Mallu Cyber Soldiers responded by attacking 46 Pakistani websites while Hell Shield Hackers raised the tally beyond 100, including pakistan.gov.pk.
An Indian hacker told newindianexpress.com that it would take three or four hours to regain control of the affected websites of the Indian missions in the seven countries. However, there have been instances where administrators of websites have needed a longer time to restore the websites.
Last year’s annual report of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology revealed that as many as 26244 websites in India, including a whopping 18403 websites with the .in domain, were defaced. CERT tracks the defacements and suggests measures to harden the webservers to the concerned organisations.