It’s an Indo-Pak Cyberspace WAR!

On Sunday morning, India’s southern Kerala state woke up to the news of the state government’s official website ( being hacked by Pakistani hackers, who posted image of a burning Indian flag.
The hackers had left messages such as "Pakistan Zindabad", "We are Team Pak Cyber Attacker" and "Security is just an illusion". The page also carried the identity of the hacker; “hacked” by Faisal 1337”. The Home Page also contained the website address www(dot)Faisal1337(dot)com.

However, preliminary reports suggested the hackers were could not get past the home page and into the server hosting this website.

This news spread like fire over social media and the issue instead of being a government website being hacked turned into being an attack on India by the neighbouring country. But few expected that within a span of few hours an Indian hacking group with the name of “The Mallu Cyber Soldiers” will payback the favour.
The Indian hacking group had hacked over 100 official websites of Pakistani government and posted message on their websites- “Better stay away from Indian Cyber Space”.

They also posted a message on their facebook page.

" !!Message to Script Kiddies of Pakistan ....Do not touch Indian Websites !!! Now your 46 Pakistan government websites got crashed and 4 educational websites got defaced This is a small payback for hacking "

They also posted a list of websites which were crashed. Few included Pakistan’s government website, and

But the war did not cyber war did not there. In the same message, the group ‘Hell Shield Hackers’ stated that the motive behind this attack was to retaliate against the attack on the Kerala government’s website.
Often gunfire exchanges across the border seem to take place. During the cricket matches also between the two countries, the rivalry of the two nations are frequently seen but now a full-blown hacking and defacement war seems to have simultaneously erupted in cyber space.

This is not the first time that the hacking has taken place between the two nations.

In October 2014, a Malayali actor and producer, Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair’s  website was hacked by a group known as Cyber Warriors, who had posted several "Free Kashmir slogans" and warned Indian Army about their activities in the Kashmir valley.

The Government from both the nations have nothing to do with it.

Hacking the government sites exposes the vulnerability of official websites.

Though it was just a defacement and officials told that the server of Kerala Government’s website is safe. Yet, the incident calls for a better cyber security mechanism.

The Indian public sees this retaliation as ‘revenge’. However, it’s an issue much more than patriotism.
 Hackers mostly target large organisations, government or community websites which store personal information of thousands or millions of users.

While the Modi government talks about digitizing India, incidents like these highlight the importance for improved cyber security which comes foremost and is a much important issue before the digitization of the country.

While the USA and China are entering into a cyber security agreement, the Indo Pak cyber hack games continue unabated which exposes the weak cyber security of both the nations.

Islamist hacking group targets Dublin gym websites

Photo Courtesy: RTE News

The RTÉ News has confirmed that the websites of three gyms, which are owned by South Dublin County Council and independently run and operated on behalf of the council by South Dublin Leisure Services Limited, have been temporarily shut down after a hacking attack by an “Islamist hacking group”.

After getting into the websites, the hackers have posted a video which contains graphic images of dead, injured people and a woman with an American accent reading a message criticizing the war on terror.

The hackers posted a message on the images which read, “Admin Don't Worry This Is just A Message And You Can Remove It. Your Website Has Been Defaced Cuz Just We Want To Show The Reality To da World. This Is The real Terrorism."

Along with the video, the hackers also posted a logo for the Liber8 Tunisia Facebook page.

“Prior to being deactivated, visitors to the web pages of the Clondalkin Leisure Centre were redirected to a page that claimed the breach was carried out by an organization describing itself as the Tunisian Fallaga Team,” the news report read.

The websites of leisure centres in Tallaght and Lucan are also inactive following the apparent attack.

According to the RTÉ News, Philip Murphy, Senior Executive Officer with the council said, "The matter has been brought to our attention this morning and we are taking appropriate action to rectify this situation. The offending material has been removed and a full investigation is under way."

Digital Constitution hacked, to promote online gambling

Digital Constitution, the Microsoft web site which protects online privacy in a digital world, was hacked to promote online casinos.

According to ZDNet, which first reported about the hacking, the Digital Constitution was running an older version of WordPress when the spammy links were discovered.

Though the links were removed from the front page in the hours following the ZDNet report, a variety of other pages continued link to the gambling sites.

The news reports says that it is unknown how long ago the site was hacked to promote online gambling, whether other Microsoft websites were hacked or not. It is still not clear who was behind the attack.

Ars Technica noted that it was not unusual for hack-by-numbers exploit kits to automatically inject malicious links into vulnerable pages that when viewed by vulnerable computers, perform drive by download attacks.

However, when the company was asked, the Microsoft answered not more than "it's fixed."

According to the news report, the attacker had injected text with keywords like "online casino," "poker, "craps," "roulette," and "blackjack." New pages were added to inject to show content that embeds content from other casino-related websites. 

Lithuanian Military Website hacked to post false information

If we had to believe what we saw on Lithuanian Armed Forces website on Thursday morning, then the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an alliance of countries from North America and Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in 1949, is preparing for the annexation of Kaliningrad, Russia’s seaport city which is sandwiched between Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north and east.

However, Victoria Cemenite, spokesperson at the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, confirmed that the website had been hacked and that the false information has since been removed by the security experts from the National Cyber Security Centre.

And an investigation has been launched.

The ministry said a private company, which provided server for the Army website, is responsible for its maintenance and security.

Baltic country's National Defence Minister Juozas Olekas says that the hacking attack was aimed to harm the reputation of Lithuania and the NATO. Similarly, security measures will be taken to avoid vulnerabilities.    

“We are carrying out an investigation to identify what measures are necessary to avoid such incidents in the future. The contents was provocative and aimed at discrediting Lithuania and NATO," Olekas told journalists on Thursday.

“It is undoubtedly an initiative of people or institutions unfriendly for Lithuania and NATO. Now, both the sides are improving, hackers and institutions in charge of cyber security. It will be a good lesson for future considerations of additional security measures.”

Arizona’s department website shuts down after hacking attack

One after another, Middle East Cyber Army, a hacking group, is attacking government websites of various countries.

After Myanmar’s Ministry of Mines, the hacker group has hacked the website of Arizona’s Department of Weights and Measures’. As a result, the website has been shut down for the last one week.

The hackers left a message on the website, “Hacked by Middle East Cyber Army” and slogans like such as, “In Allah we trust. For Allah we work. Death to Israel. Free Palestine. Jerusalem is ours” along with a masked figure in front of the Dome of the Rock.

Andy Tobin, director at the department, confirmed that the department’s website was hacked on Sunday.

Today, the department’s website is still down for maintenance.

“The web-site you were attempting to access is currently undergoing maintenance activities. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please retry again later. Thank you for your patience,” the website read.

According to Tobin, soon after they got to know about the hacking attack, they shut down their website and database.

He said that the agency got its backup database running on Tuesday so its investigators can continue their work.

Tobin said the agency is investigating the matter collaborating with the Arizona Department of Administration. Similarly, they have also informed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about the hacking attack.

The department is still trying to sort out the issue. It has yet to be determined whether the department to resume its website or shift its components over to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, which is scheduled to take over many of the department’s duties next year.

The hacking group had hacked many other websites like in December the group hacked the website for a school district in Little Rock, Ark. It took over the website for the small Quebec town of Terrasse-Vaudreuil in January. Similarly, in May, it targeted Auckland University in New Zealand. And in April, it hacked Art and Sol, a Scottsdale-based performing arts program for children.

Pro Syrian group hacked US Army's official website

The US Army's official website was hacked  by the "Syrian Electronic Army", and posted a message on its twitter account, criticizing the training of rebel fighters inside Syria.

According to the army officials, no personal or classified data has been stolen. The army has decided to temporarily shut down the website.

One of the messages reads as, "Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting."

This pro-Syrian group has been blamed for various hacking and denial of service attacks of  numerous news media sites, including the Twitter account of AFP's photo service.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Malcolm Frost said in a statement, "Today an element of the service provider's content was compromised. After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily."

This is not the first time they have hacked website, in 2013 they created confusion in the stock market briefly by putting  out a fake media tweet falsely claiming the White House was under attack.

But officials said “It was possibly the first time a US military website had been penetrated, as previous hacking had targeted Twitter accounts.”