[ISN] Suspected Pakistani "Intelligence Operatives" Hijack Army Site

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Sat Oct 17 1998 - 20:56:50 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05t_private>
    Text of report by the Indian news agency PTI
    New Delhi, 16th October: Suspected Pakistani intelligence operatives have
    hijacked the Indian army's only web site on Internet to provide the Indian
    point of view on Kashmir as part of a cyberwar launched ahead of the
    Indo-Pak talks which started in Islamabad on Friday [16th October]. 
    Acknowledging this, Defence Ministry officials said corrective steps were
    being taken to restore the web site www.armyinkashmir.com which was
    installed only on 18th August this year. 
    The officials said hackers were trying to take over the web site for the
    past seven days and suspected the hand of Pakistani intelligence agencies
    behind it. A PTI correspondent, who monitored the site for four days since
    13th October, saw both the original as well as the doctored sites and
    downloaded several pages from it. 
    Although generally it is very difficult to take over dedicated web sites,
    regular Internet surfers warn that a web site could be taken over by
    another user in case the norms of the Internic, the international
    registrar of web sites which gives domain names on specific request, are
    not followed and its fees and other charges are not paid regularly. If
    this happens, any surfer anywhere in the world can foot the unpaid bill,
    complete all procedural formalities and seek a change in the address or
    contact number of the web site from its original one. 
    While on 13th October, the web site was taken over by someone having a
    Lahore phone number [number omitted], the site was taken over by an
    unknown group. This group said this site is currently maintained by many
    people who feel for Kashmiris and on going massacre in Kashmir under the
    control of Indian army. This distorted site contains pages of so-called
    backgrounders on the Kashmir issue prepared by the Pakistan government.
    The web site from which these backgrounders were taken is called
    www.pak.gov.pk/govt/kashmir.htm. The site also contained the names of
    Britain-based individuals and organizations who, its operators said, could
    provide more information on the real situation in Kashmir. 
    This correspondent, who hit the web site over a dozen times during these
    days, saw that the guest book of the original site which was partially
    restored on 14th October. The guest book, meant for eliciting comments of
    those surfers who hit the site, was full of anti-India superlatives and
    four-letter adjectives. Even on Friday morning, the site, registered in
    the name of Lt-Col M.K. Bawa, was being operated by anti-India operatives. 
    While refusing to comment on the embarrassing situation, some ministry
    officials felt that there was an urgent need to have an Internet policy
    which was currently absent. There has been considerable delay on this
    count by the ministry, whose defence planning staff is the nodal agency
    for such matters, they added. 
    Source: PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 0944 gmt 16 Oct 98. 
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