70 Indian government, private websites face international cyber attacks over Prophet row | India News

HYDERABAD: After threats by the al-Qaida, comments against Prophet Muhammad — by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma — have led to a slew of cyber attacks on Indian websites, both government and private.
Orchestrated by the hacktivist group DragonForce Malaysia, the series of attacks targeted the Indian embassy in Israel, National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management, and e-portal of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, among other online platforms.
In all, the group hacked into about 70 websites, not sparing even prominent educational institutions such as Delhi Public School, Bhavans and other groups of colleges across the country. In Maharashtra alone, more than 50 websites were found defaced.
Through audio clips and texts, the group sent out a common message — “For you is your religion and for me is my religion”. It also called on all Muslim hackers, all hackers around the world, human rights organisations, and activists to start a campaign against India. While Indian authorities managed to restore the website of the Indian embassy in Israel by Sunday, one of the pages of ICAR was still defaced.
An internet archive analysis on Wayback Machine by TOI confirmed that Indian government sites, as well as private portals, were defaced between June 8 and 12. Security experts indicated there were attempts to breach a prominent bank in India by the same hacktivist group that has over 13,000 members.
“These are politically motivated hackers and national state actors. Defacement attacks are advanced persistent threats to future attacks like data theft and ransomware attacks on banking and critical infrastructure.When they attacked Israeli sites they leaked personal data, passport data and VPN credentials of Israeli companies. We should brace up for more cyber attacks,” a top cyber security expert told TOI.