In yet another cyber attack, the Defence Ministry website was hacked on Friday afternoon. A few Chinese character(s) appeared on the homepage after the hack and soon the site was pulled down.
Visitors of the website were greeted with an error message and were asked to “try again later”.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed the breach.
"Issue with the MoD website ( http://mod.nic.in ) has been taken note of. Appropriate action has been initiated,” the official Twitter handle of the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
“Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website ( http://mod.nic.in ). The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken,” a subsequent tweet said.
NDTV cited sources which claimed that an investigation has been sought from the National Informatics Centre, which maintains all union government websites.
PTI too quoted sources saying the same, ““We are seized of the matter. The National Informatics Centre, which maintains the website, is trying to restore it.”
The Chinese (Mandarin) character reportedly means meditation.
Soon after that, the Home Ministry and Labour Ministry website were pulled down.
However, officials denied a security breach. "There is no hacking of any nature anywhere in the Defence Ministry website. There is hardware problem due to which the website is down. It will be up shortly," Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator told NDTV.
TNIE quoted sources saying that the NIC is upgrading the security system of the website leading to its temporary suspension, following the Defence Ministry website breach.
"Due to malfunctioning of storage network system, websites of few ministries is down and will be up soon," he added.
This was part of a total of 22,207 Indian websites which were compromised according to Indian Computer Emergency Response Team statistics.
The latest incident of hacking prior to this was reported in January when the website of the National Security Guard (NSG) was compromised by Pakistani-based cyber offenders.
In February, 2017 the Ministry of Home Affairs website came under attack after which that site was also taken down.
A month before that the website of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was also pulled down following an attack.