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Defence ministry website hacked, leads to error message; MHA site down for security upgrade
Hindustan Times

The ministry of defence’s official website was hacked on Friday, with reports saying Chinese characters were appearing on the page.


The defence ministry’s website was hacked on Friday, prompting the government to pull down the home ministry website for security upgrade, a minister and a government spokesperson said.
The labour ministry’s website too showed an error message in the evening. HT could not independently verify if it was a related incident.
In a Twitter post, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said action had been taken after the “hacking” of her ministry’s website. She promised steps to prevent such incidents in the future, assuring that the website will be restored soon.
Users logging onto the defence ministry website were directed to an error page, and a display message read: “The website encountered an unexpected error, Please try again later.”
“We are seized of the matter. The National Informatics Centre, which maintains the website, is trying to restore it,” said a spokesperson for the ministry.
News agency PTI, quoting unnamed Indian officials, said there were Chinese characters on the website. They suspected hackers from the Communist country for the attack.
An official spokesperson said the National Informatics Centre, which hosts the MHA site, was upgrading the security system of the home ministry website.
“The requested service is temporarily unavailable. Sorry for Inconvenience. It would be available soon,” was the message on the MHA website.
The spokesperson said the move had been taken as a precaution.
Not the first time
This isn’t the first time hackers have targeted official websites of the Indian government. Authorities had temporarily taken down the ministry of home affairs website last year after a cyber attack was reported.
A month before that, suspected Pakistan-affiliated operatives had hacked the official website of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) and defaced it with a profanity-laden message against the Prime Minister and anti-India content.
In 2016, the websites and databases of seven Indian missions in Europe and Africa were reportedly hacked and data from their servers were allegedly dumped online. Hackers going by the name Kapustkiy and Kasimierz L on Twitter claimed to have breached the security of the official websites of the Indian missions in South Africa, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Italy, Switzerland and Romania.



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