Multiple Government Websites Taken Down, Government Clueless.
Defence Ministry Says Hacked, Home Says Not Hacked, Cyber Security Co-Ordinator also says not hacked. Modi Silent.
New Delhi: The website of the Ministry of Defence (mod.nic.in) was defaced by suspected Chinese hackers on Friday, the Press Trust of India has reported, as officials are taking steps to restore it. This was followed by the Home, Law and Labour ministry websites also opening to error pages.
As efforts to visit the website produced an “error” message, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed that the site had indeed been hacked. “Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website,” she tweeted. “The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken.”
After it was hacked, the site displayed—what some news agencies called—a Chinese character, which purportedly means ‘home’.
PTI said that ministry officials believed the message on the website were Chinese characters in a “clear indication that Chinese hackers were involved in defacing it”.
But NDTV quoted Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator as saying that he believed there had been no hacking.
“There is no hacking of any nature anywhere in the defence ministry website,” Rai told NDTV. “There is hardware problem due to which the website is down. It will be up shortly. Due to malfunctioning of storage network system, websites of few ministries is down and will be up soon,” he added.
- The defence website is maintained by the National Informatics Centre, an entity which works under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. “The National Informatics Centre, which maintains the website, is trying to restore it,” a spokesperson in the ministry told PTI.
The home ministry, meanwhile, denied its website had been hacked.
PTI claimed that an official spokesperson had said the National Informatics Centre, which also hosts the MHA site, was upgrading a security system leading to the website’s temporary suspension.