IANS sites attacked by suspected Pakistani hackers

February 12th, 2009 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Hackers, purported to be from Pakistan, once again targeted an Indian portal, attacking the websites of the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), the premier wire agency and media house headquartered in the national capital.
The hackers also sought to identify themselves, saying they were called the “PakBuGs.OrG Heross” and posted stories with abusive and anti-India content early Wednesday.

“The hackers gained entry to our site administration and started uploading some abusive content. We noticed this around 1 a.m. and started deleting the abusive content and cleaning the site,” said P.S. Mitra, chief technical officer of IANS.

“We were able to sanitise the site in less than an hour,” Mitra added.

The attack was first on the English site, www.ians.in, early Wednesday followed by hacking of the Hindi site, www.ianshindi.in a day later.

Both times, media in India was blamed for being anti-Pakistan.

A visit to the website of the hackers revealed their intentions. It had tutorials for hackers, a blog for members to “show off their defacement” and another in support of Palestinians.

Recently, hackers had posted abusive material and pro-Pakistan slogans, on the sites of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp - ongcindia.com - and of the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department - www.cidap.gov.in.

They had not spared the popular community group of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the networking site Orkut either.

According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, an initiative against cyber crimes of the Department of Information Technology, as many as 175 Indian sites with the .in domain name were hacked in January alone.

While 101 domain names with .com extension were also hacked, the numbers were fewer at seven and eight respectively for domain names with .net and .org extensions, said the agency.

It said in December last year, 255 security incidents were reported to it from both national and international agencies, among which 53 percent were for spreading of malware through website compromise.

“The year 2009 will continue the trend of increasing size, scope and concentration of security attacks on computer networks nationwide. The volume of attacks from international sources will continue to increase,” said the Response Team.

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