KOCHI: Within hours of Pakistani hackers attacking the official website of Kerala Government on Sunday, ‘cyber warriors’ on this side of the border launched a counter attack and hacked nearly 250 ‘enemy websites’ triggering a full-fledged cyber war.
Indian hackers started the counter attack, ‘#OpPak’, in response to the defacing of www.kerala.gov.in, and broke into more than 200 Pakistan websites, including Pak President’s official website pakistan.gov.in; Sate Development Organisation; culture.gov.pk and e-government.gov.pk. The twitter handle of Indian Hacking News called the operation a ‘massive payback’, and claimed that the ‘desi’ hackers would bring Pak cyberspace to a standstill.
Indian hackers seem to have launched a concerted counter attack, in response to a call for revenge. “If the government can’t do it, we would do it. We are here to defend India, non-profit. They hacked our government site, and we knocked Pakistan offline,” claimed a message from ‘Hell Shield Hackers’.
On pastebin.com, Indian hackers continue to post a long list of Pak websites they brought down on Sunday, in retaliation of the defacement of kerala.gov.in. After cracking the official website of Pakistan Government, the ‘hacktivists’ claimed: “Indian hackers haven’t cracked a single Pakistani site after August 15, 2015. But, Faisal Afzal hacked www.kerala.gov.in. Dude, We are not sleeping. If you even touch one Indian site, we would crush you up.”
“The unofficial cyber war between the two countries began in 2010, and is waged by ‘patriotic hackers’ on both sides, every day,” said cyber security expert Benild Joseph. “Cracking of the Kerala Government website exposes the vulnerability of our official websites. It was just a defacement, and the officials concerned claim that the server is safe. Yet, the incident calls for a better cyber security mechanism. Since no expert can ensure full security, constant vigil and awareness about the latest vulnerabilities are the key to ensuring security,” he opined.
In October last year, hackers of both sides went on a rampage after Indian websites, including the official site of Malayalam actor Mohanlal, were cracked. Then, the closet warriors on cyber space had claimed many websites. However, this time, important government websites and public service portals of Pakistan were attacked, which is more damaging than the earlier flare ups.
“Experts warn that Pakistan-based hackers might not stay silent, and that the war might escalate in the coming days. Though India is one among the top 10 IT nations, we are very weak in cyber security. It calls for a long-term plan to groom cyber security professionals by including hacking in the curriculum,” added Benild.