Not so long ago, we woke up to the terrifying news that terrorists had attacked an Indian Army camp at Uri. A week later, the Indian Army carried out a surgical strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as an act of retaliation to eliminate terror launch pads across the border. Following the incident, a war ensued – however, this was not a full-fledged military confrontation, but a cyber war.
On October 3, the National Green Tribunal’s website came under attack with a Pakistani group hacking it and posting a message mocking the Indian side. A hacker identifying himself as D4RK 4NG3l took responsibility for the attack. The message on the defaced site read “We are Unbeatable #OpIndia” with other pro-Kashmir freedom slogans.
On October 6, Pakistani Hackers again attacked the Indian Cyber space by vandalising Parbhani District Police website and the Bihar State Electronics Development Commission website. A Pakistani hacker who goes by cyber name Faisal 1337 claimed to have hacked both the sites and took mirrors of the defaced site.
Yet another Pakistani group called Pak Haxors Crew (PHC) claimed to have successfully hacked 7,010 Indian websites by releasing a list of hacked sites on Pastebin. The targeted sites were mostly SMEs; however, all of those sites were recovered within few hours after they were compromised. The message from Pakistani Hackers was loud and clear: “Tum ne sirf socha tha aur hum ne kar ke dikhaya.”
This is where the necessity of proactive Cyber Incident Response Plan comes into play. In reality, many websites in our country are prone to cyber attacks and threats. If we were to recall, there would be numerous cyber incidents that India has encountered – from the defacement of CBI’s official website to a private group called “Tranchulas” using APT (Advanced Persistence Threat) malware attacks to spy on the phones of Army personnel.