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'Pakistan' hackers target India's top police agency

by Prasad Krishna last modified Apr 02, 2011 01:26 AM
Cyber-attackers who identified themselves as the "Pakistan Cyber Army" have hacked the website of India's top police agency, officials said on Saturday. The website of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was hacked by programmers who left a message saying that the attack was in revenge for similar Indian assaults on Pakistani sites, Press Trust of India said. The hackers signed their message on the Indian police website: "Long Live Pakistan."

CBI authorities said they were working to restore the site, which offered information to the public.

The spokeswoman said she could not comment on Indian media reports that more than 200 other Indian sites had also been attacked by Pakistani hackers.

"We came to know the CBI site had been compromised Friday night," the spokeswoman told AFP, asking not to be named. "It will take us a couple of days to restore the site."

She said she could not immediately say who was responsible for the attack.

The CBI has "registered a case" and is investigating the attack, she said.

The message posted on the CBI site said the attack was "in response to the Pakistani websites hacked by 'Indian Cyber Army'," the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

"Hacked hahaa funny," the message said. "Let us see what you investigating agency so called CBI can do" (sic).

Hackers had also infiltrated the server of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which maintains most of the government's websites, PTI reported.

In August, a group also calling itself the "Pakistan Cyber Army" hacked into the website of independent Indian MP Vijay Mallya, a flamboyant liquor baron, who is also head of Kingfisher Airlines.

The group claims to have hacked a number of Indian websites in recent years, including India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, in retaliation for Indian hackers accessing Pakistan sites.

Indian IT specialists have long lamented what they say is a lack of awareness about Internet security across the country, including in the corridors of power.

Sunil Abraham, executive director of the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society, said it would have been easy for attackers to get into the CBI public site as it was "not a particularly sensitive" one.

The Indian government "has a very low level of cyber awareness and cyber security. We don't take cyber security as seriously as the rest of the world," he said.

He added that the government needed to "make at least 10 times the current level of investment to get their standards to match the rest of the world."

According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, a government agency that tracks IT security issues, more than 3,600 Indian websites were hacked in the first six months of this year.

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