Kerala websites reel under cyber attacks


Tvm: About 40 websites from Kerala, mostly Government sites, have been hacked in the last six weeks with as many as 17 being hacked on a single day earlier this week. While most of these are sites with .gov extension, .com sites with Kerala in the domain name have also being targeted.

Most of these Government websites were subject to frontpage defacement with minimal damage to data. But there are some instances of massive damage to the databases. While most of these hacked websites have been recovered successfully, some are yet to be restored. According to sources, four of the websites that were hacked last week are not yet up. This includes a District website of Kerala Police.

At a workshop on Web Security organised by the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) and the Computer Emergency Response Team Kerala (CERT-K), N Krishnan, Director, CERT-K said, “We need to investigate why Kerala is being targeted. What is alarming is that there seems to be a concerted effort from beyond the borders of our country in these attacks.” A search on the Internet reveals that surprisingly there were discussions and prior intimations about these hackings on Social Networking websites and forums frequented by these Cyber Terrorists.
According to the data available with the Hitech Cell of Kerala Police and the Computer Emergency Response Team Kerala (CERT-K), the origins of these attacks have been traced to IPs located outside the country. This restricts the investigation process and also the prosecution of culprits. Spoofing of IPs and proxy IPs complicates the matter more.

The workshop deliberated on the Information Security practices and policies of KSITM being followed at the State Data Centre. Resource persons from CERT-K and RCom led the sessions on implementing and enhancing the security of websites. Steps to be taken to prevent cyber attacks and steps to be taken after an attack were also discussed. About 100 delegates, mostly from various Government Departments and Organisations, and also IT Professionals from Technopark participated in the day long workshop.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT New


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