http://www.business-standard.com/today/corp10.asp?Menu=2 Bipin Chandran in New Delhi January 2, 2002 India is preparing for a war on the web. This time the government is putting its prestige on the line to prevent hackers from defacing various government web sites, a routine occurrence when tension between India and Pakistan escalates. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has tightened security at various government web sites by installing additional security software solutions. Not just that. NIC engineers are constantly monitoring the government networks to find out hackers and check attacks, a senior NIC official told Business Standard. NIC is the apex government body that maintains various government web sites and computer networks. NIC's plans include providing additional firewall security software to the government web sites, training intelligence officers to trace hacking and updating the network administrators of the government web sites with latest cyber security technologies. The move comes just after the working group on IT set up by the government recommended spending Rs 300 crore to improve information technology security in the country. The list of Indian sites which have been broken into and hacked by pro-Pakistani groups in the last two years is impressive and embarrassing. They range from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the ministry of external affairs to NIC, VSNL, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, the Indian Institute of Science and the Department of Telecom. The objective of anti-Indian hackers appears to be to plant threats and anti-India slogans on home pages. There have been instances of hackers guiding surfers to anti-India websites. The Indo-Pak cyberwar first started after the Pokhran II tests in May 1998. Soon after India tested the bomb, a group of hackers called milw0rm broke into the Bhabha Atomic Research Center web site and posted anti-India and anti-nuclear messages. During the 1999 Kargil war again, hackers from Pakistan resorted to defacing web sites in India. One of the earliest Indian sites to be hacked was http://www.armyinkashmir.com, established by the Indian government to provide factual information about daily events in the Kashmir Valley. The hackers posted photographs showing Indian military forces allegedly killing Kashmiri militants. The pictures had captions like "Massacre! Torture! Extrajudicial execution!" and "The agony of crackdown" and blamed the Indian government for its alleged atrocities in Kashmir. Last year, pro-Pakistan cyber warriors attacked Indian Science Congress 2000 and the National Informatics Centre. They also invaded the web site of the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited and posted anti-India messages. India should be spanked and their nukes (that is if they have any) taken away. This message from the Muslim Online Syndicate greeted surfers when they chanced upon the website of the Department of Atomic Energy recently. We're GForce Pakistan, up with 260 events of defaces (Indian) and we're proud Pakistani hackers," was the declaration on the Indian Institute of Science. According to attrition.org, a web site that tracks computer security-related developments on the Internet, attacks on Indian cyberspace increased from 4 in 1999 to 72 in 2000. These numbers cover only the attacks carried out on domains ending with '.in'. This year has been the worst so far. According to India Cracked, a site that tracks defacements of Indian web sites, over 150 Indian sites have already been hacked into in the first six months. Most of these break-ins had a strong pro-Pakistan flavour. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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