New Delhi, July 13: The hacking or the defacing of the website of Antrix Corporation Limited, the marketing arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation appears to be an act of mischief by a cyber army.
While the probe to find the culprits behind the attack is on, it has been made clear that no sensitive data was compromised.
It appears to be more of a case of defacing a website like was done in the case of the CBI. In the case of the CBI website which was hacked four years back, it was the Pakistan Cyber Army which had carried out the job.
The cyber battle field:
The cyber space has become a battle field for both the Chinese and the Pakistanis. At times mails and sites are hacked only with a specific intention of pulling out data. However there are many instances of websites being defaced only with a sole intention of one-upmanship.
Cyber security experts tell OneIndia that groups such as the Pakistan Cyber Army operate exactly like how an army would. The only difference is that while one is on the ground the other functions on web space. Some attacks are clearly aimed at embarrassing countries and to send a message that the security systems are weak.
There have also been some cases where there are internal operations which only aim at defacing a website. The intention is not to steal any data, but to give the handlers of a site a wake up call and to tell them that the system is vulnerable. These are like some of the intelligence alerts which are routinely given with an intention of keeping the police on guard and ensure that there is no lax of security.
Cyber games for fun:
There are several types of cyber attacks. For instance the Chinese only aim at getting out data. However the cyber wars fought between India and Pakistan goes beyond just digging out information.
There have been instances where the battles are for one-upmanship. While a team from India would shut down a Pakistan site with a taunting message, " catch me if you can," the Pakistanis would retaliate by hitting at an Indian website with a message, " gotcha."
However not all attacks are fun and frolic. There have been several attacks which have been serious in nature. For India the hacking of official mails is a bigger problem when compared to defacing of websites. A website being defaced is more of a psychological war aimed at not just mocking but also scaring the clients of that site.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that while these are clearly security lapses, there is also something to learn from this. Websites ought to keep working continuously on upgrading security and instances such as the Antrix defacing must be used as a learning experience that there is no time to be complacent.
Statistical data on hacking in India:
Between 2011 and 2014, an estimate 86,959 websites in India have been defaced. It is an ongoing process and would continue to take place. The only way to fight back these hackers is to constantly upgrade security and ensure that the sites are not vulnerable.
Sites of governments, military and science institutions are the preferred targets for hackers. In most cases it has been found that the sensitive sites are the ones which are most vulnerable to attacks. There have also been various instances to show that private sites too have been hacked. These could be external or an internal hit due to rivalry.
While 86,959 sites have been hacked in a span of four years, the problem is that only 1,487 cases have been booked. This only goes on to show that the capabilities to fight cyber crime is still not up to the mark.
Cases are particularly very slow when it comes to hacking of social media accounts and emails. India depends a lot on the US for such cases as the servers are based over there. There have been cases which have been pending since 10 years as the US based companies have not provided the required data.