Menace of “Cyber Terrorism”, India among top hosting nations targeted for “Cyber Attacks”

A new report, adding that the country is also among the top hosting countries for such online frauds, second only to the US. The other three countries most targeted by phishing are Canada, the US and the Netherlands, showed research from RSA Security, a Dell Technologies business that offers business-driven security solutions.

More recently, Over 90 Indian government websites and critical systems were targeted by alleged Pakistani hackers within hours of the Pulwama suicide strike on February 14. The ‘website’ of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ( went into maintenance mode after an alleged hacking attempt.

The Website, at the moment, remains down but the “error 522” message has recently been replaced with, “We’ll be back soon! Sorry for the inconvenience but we’re performing some maintenance at the moment. We’ll be back online shortly”! A Pakistan-based cyber hacker group allegedly hacked the official website of BJP Chhattisgarh — on February 21.

Following the trend, Imagine the website of United State president Donald Trump’s Republican Party in the “maintenance mode” for over four days after some sort of “transgression” or a full-fledged hacking. If that appears impossible, imagine this: The portal of India’s ruling BJP that was allegedly hacked, and it was still down after going into the “maintenance mode”.

The fact is that you can’t remain in the “maintenance mode” for so long, unless you are redesigning the whole portal from scratch after the data bases have been compromised, says many cyber experts. According to ethical cyber hackers, a portal that is “down” for four-five days can only be in that mode if the entire coding is being done and content being generated.

Meanwhile, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad did admit that the website was indeed hacked.. Prasad said that the site was hacked for a few minutes but the party was able to get control back “very soon.” He also said that there are rogue elements in the society who were behind such attacks.

While, Manan Shah, Founder and CEO, Avalance Global Solutions. “Looks like BJP is redesigning the whole website as not only the data base but the entire backup is also gone – only if the daily backups were being done in the first place – hence it is taking so long for them to up the website again”.

“Normally, the security audit in case of hacking or some sort of transgression takes two-three hours and portal is normally up within a day. This looks like serious hacking as it has wiped out everything from static and dynamic content,” he mentioned. The Congress Gujarat website was also hacked on march 06 but it was up soon.

“Some Indian hacker or group may also be behind the hacking. It appears hackers are getting active as elections are near and cyber warfare will only get intense,” mentioned Manan, who is an ethical hacker. Manan and his expertise in cyber forensics has helped Gujarat and Rajasthan police, Ministry of Defence and CBI Gandhinagar in safeguarding their platform against cyber attacks.

On March 06, Gujarat Congress website was hacked with an inappropriate content posted on it. The Chhattisgarh BJP website was also hacked on February 21.

On March 06, BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya has mentioned that the portal was likely to be up “by tonight or tomorrow”. While admitting that the site had experienced some sort of “transgression”, he argued that the site was down due to a “technical glitch”, not hacking.

Congress’ Twitter manager, Divya Spandana, was among the first to tweet about the malfunction of the BJP website. She shared a screenshot of a meme featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On March 7, Pratik Sinha who is co-founder of AltNews says “BJP website has been down for three days after being hacked. Were they not doing daily back-ups of their website/database? It would have taken only hours to come back online, if they had a recent back-up.

Did BJP fail to follow the standard practices followed by most websites?” French security researcher who goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and who published Aadhaar data leaks in the past, also tweeted: “The official website of @BJP4India has been hacked. I guess they stole the database too”.

Defining Cyberterrorism

It may relating to deployment by known terrorist organizations of disruption attacks against information systems for the primary purpose of creating alarm, panic, or physical disruption. Participating in a cyberattack affects the terror threat perception, even if it isn’t done with a violent approach.. Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Lab, now feels that “cyberterrorism” is a more accurate term than “cyberwar”.

There is much concern from government and media sources about potential damage that could be caused by cyberterrorism, and this has prompted efforts by government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to put an end to cyber attacks and cyberterrorism.

It can be also defined as the intentional use of computers, networks, and public internet to cause destruction and harm for personal objectives. Experienced cyberterrorists, who are very skilled in terms of hacking can cause massive damage to government systems, hospital records, and national security programs, which might leave a country, community or organization in turmoil and in fear of further attacks.

Thus, you can say that the recent cyber attacks at BJP-Led official web including government agencies web is a great example of ‘cyberterrorism’ in the wake of Pulwama suicide strike on February 14.

In India, Over 100 government websites, including some managed by the National Informatics Centre(NIC), were hacked in 2018, Parliament was informed in December. The websites of at least 10 ministries including those of defence, home affairs, labour and law went down for around six hours in April 2018. Also, Union Home Ministry informed Parliament last year that at least one website run by the Indian government was hacked every alternate day in 2016.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that, “commandos should also train to stamp out threats from the cyber space, apart from conventional threats emanating on the land, emerging from the seas and in the air. Hacking websites and data leaks also indirectly imperil national security”.

Despite all of this, Many academics and researchers who specialize in terrorism studies suggest that cyberterrorism does not exist and is really a matter of hacking or information warfare. They disagree with labeling it as terrorism because of the unlikelihood of the creation of fear, significant physical harm, or death in a population using electronic means, considering current attack and protective technologies.

A study by Cybercrime Ventures reveals that the cost of cybercrime damage could reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. This rapid increase in damage is due to the fact that more and more agencies – companies are shifting towards digital assets for their businesses. Hackers now have more reason to attack companies including government agencies.. To battle the growing threat, world could rely on identity management software that uses top-notch authentication methods to secure the accounts of all registered users.

Significantly, Ministry of External Affairs said India conveyed its support for the priority set out by Brazil, particularly to take forward BRICS cooperation on countering terrorism in a meaningful and concrete manner with the member countries of the group, which represents billions of people.

“India also underlined the need to take forward inter-alia people-to-people cooperation, cooperation in science and technology and innovation, and also in health and traditional medicine,” said during the first BRICS Sherpa meeting, under the presidency of Brazil, has identified countering terrorism as one of its priority areas, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on 16 March 2019.

Jai Hind!

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