The Algerian hacker group SanFour25 recently hacked and defaced several Web sites belonging to the Indian government.

"The sites hacked include Defence Research and Development Organisation, West Bengal’s police department, Directorate of Estates (Ministry of Urban Development), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, and Rehabilitation Council of India," Business Line reports. "The message posted on the Web sites read ‘SanFour25, Algerian Hackers’ minutes after the hacking took place. The Web site of the Prime Minister’s adviser on public information, infrastructure and innovations also came under attack. Some of these sites were down for over nine hours."

"A Hyderabad-based cyber security expert Kusumba S. told The Hindu that the hacker had apparently accessed the host server and modified the root files of respective websites," writes The Hindu's K. Srinivas Reddy. "'This could be dangerous because the hacker could have stolen data as he had complete access to root files,' he felt."

"The government sources said some 'suspicious and unwanted' activity was observed on these websites, maintained by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), following which these were shut down for a couple of hours," The Times of India reports. "'After checking the websites, these were restored,' a source said, adding that the information contained by these websites is already in the public domain. 'There are no secrets on these websites,' they stressed."

"This is the first time ... Algerian hackers attacked India," writes Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa. "In the past, these hackers had their focus on the West."