The Indian government has acknowledged that a hacker accessed the e-mail addresses of more than 10,000 government officials on July 12 of this year.
“The IDs included those of officials working in the PMO, defence, external affairs, home, finance ministries, as well as intelligence agencies,” writes Indian Express’ Ajmer Singh. “The attack has been blamed on state actors, based in countries inimical to India’s interests. The attack took place despite an alert issued four days earlier, on July 8, by the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), formed under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), as the malware or malicious software used was ‘sophisticated’ and targeted subjects, individuals and organisations.”
“According to Indian Express, news of the attack was confirmed by officials of intelligence and enforcement agencies at a day-long NCIIPC meeting in New Delhi this week,” writes E Hacking News’ Sabari Selvan.
“India’s most prolific foe in cyber space is thought to be Pakistan, but the frequent skirmishes between the two tend to involve web site defacements and the occasional DDoS attack from various hacktivist groups,” writes The Register’s Phil Muncaster. “Back in March, minister for communications and IT, Sachin Pilot, revealed that over 100 government sites had been compromised in this manner between December 2011 and February 2012, while the India CERT said there were 834 defacements of .in sites in January alone. However, the attack in July appears to have been more co-ordinated and carried out with the aim of obtaining specific information.”