Cyber warfare: Indian hackers take down 36 govt websites

Published: December 1, 2010

Screenshot of one of the hacked websites. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: At least 36 government websites were hacked on Tuesday by a group of hackers going by the name ‘Indian Cyber Army’.

Websites of Pakistan Navy, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the ministries of foreign affairs, education and finance, as well as NADRA and the Council of Islamic Ideology were among some of the key websites hacked, aside from at least 30 other local websites.

The 36 government websites were hosted on a single server which allowed the hackers to take over multiple sites simultaneously, stated an e-mail message sent out by the hackers to Pakistani websites.

Some of the sites were rendered inaccessible over the course of the day, while each site hosted a page inserted by the hackers, which displayed a message – along with audio playback – that outlined that the online hack was a form of ‘hacktivism’ in retaliation to the Mumbai attacks.

“Indian Cyber Army owns you. Rest in peace, the heroes of 26/11 who laid their precious lives for the country … because of some Pakistanis, whole of Pakistan is being given bad words,” was the principal message displayed on the hacked pages, which also contained images of Indian security officials killed in the Mumbai attacks.

Two of those involved in the attack, Jackh4x0r and LuCkY, told online hacker portal Hacker Regiment that most of the group members of the Indian Cyber Army were “well settled” professionals.

“Monetary benefits are not the motivation for any of the group members to carry out such cyber attacks. This particular attack was to convey a message to Pakistani citizens on opposing the terror route being followed by their nation to disturb neighbours,” said the two hackers in the interview.

While a majority of the government websites had removed the pages inserted by the hackers, some local websites still hosted the inserted pages at the filing of this report.

Cyber attacks of a similar ideological nature have been increasingly seen on both sides of the border since 2001.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2010.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 02, 2010

The original article incorrectly quoted that Nadra was hacked.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (55)

  • Dec 1, 2010 - 11:24AM

    There is no excuse for bad English…even on a hacked website. Disappointing:)Recommend

  • Shrikanth
    Dec 1, 2010 - 1:08PM

    Pakistan should not support terrorism. Its infact threat to themselves as well as its neighboring countries. They should realize the pathetic position they are in now. People of Pakistan are suffering the most due to terrorism than anyone in this world. Atleast a suicide bomb a day. Its not the matter of using power on Pak by India. After all we were once together before independence. Hope you act wise..:)Recommend

  • sayali.pujari
    Dec 1, 2010 - 2:07PM

    Great Job done by all Indian Cyber Army..!!!

    HATS OFF..!!!

    Can our politican can take some clue from these netizens..!!!

    keep it up ..!!!

    :) Jay ho..!!!Recommend

  • sagar
    Dec 1, 2010 - 2:35PM

    great work!
    what bad English? feeling are important not words had grammar :P
    keep it up! Recommend

  • sagar
    Dec 1, 2010 - 2:36PM

    great work!
    what bad English? feeling are important not words and grammar :P
    keep it up!Recommend

  • Dec 1, 2010 - 3:13PM

    In fact it is cyber attack “less” message to pakistani citizen “more”.In world muslim are loosing their reliability, most people in the world now think that muslim should be broad minded and humanity oriented..unless and untill they did not follow right trak..they will fall in more darkness..

    muslim to cut se gaye hai main streem se..unako to jaise developement se kuch lena dena hi nahi hai..manavata ke nam par dhabba bana diya kuch logo ne poori muslim koum ko..

    now. these day Pakistan is more responsiveness for such incidents..

    Pakistan ki to basic architecture hi kharab ho gayi hai…

    Pakistani log revolution laye apne yaha…
    baki ham sambhal lenge..

    nahi to pakistani kal apni government se yahi kahenge ki dekho log kaha chale gaye ham vahi ke vahi rah gaye…

    vase ye din chal raha hai…Recommend

  • ajay
    Dec 1, 2010 - 3:26PM

    Its not bad english. Its very bad one :-)
    Could be uneducated hackers. Should attend some school for English learning.
    Disappointing.Recommend

  • BA
    Dec 1, 2010 - 7:30PM

    As Pakistani, only thing I appreciate is the fact that Indians have felt the pain of massacre they went through in Nov 08. In Pakistan we have lost around 4000 people in these suicide attacks, but still we have got mullas advocating taliban on TV and going unchecked. I feel, to be an Indian is more respectful than to be a Pakistani, at least when your country is fighting war against terror.Recommend

  • QWERTY
    Dec 1, 2010 - 9:26PM

    lolz… strange to see how everyone’s falling for their words…. lolz!Recommend

  • Faraz
    Dec 1, 2010 - 10:30PM

    I agree with Prasad, There really is no excuse for the bad grammer. it seems these “well settled” hackers need to go back to school and aim higher this time. By the way “BA” stop pretending to be a Pakistani we all know your not.Recommend

  • Sushant
    Dec 2, 2010 - 10:44AM

    @Prasad: We can excuse their english as long as they do a good job at Hacking these paki websites :)Recommend

  • Hassan
    Dec 2, 2010 - 12:16PM

    Please dont forget that it was the Indian security forces that had failed, that so many people enter your main city and do this.

    Dont forget that indians are doing 10 times more in Kashmir.Recommend

  • Shaja
    Dec 2, 2010 - 12:32PM

    I am a Pakistani but I support Inidans for waht they did. As a country Pakistan should wake up to the task and realize what’s going on in the country. The Army and ISI should be brought under strict civilian control. Then only pakistan has some chance to prosper. Indian is not our enemy. Although history had thought several lessions to both India and Pakistan. Past is past. After seeing so much destruction mostly self induced, Pakistan should learn to change the tracks. No wonder all Pakistanis, at least educated like me are moving out od the country. I am not proud to say I am a Pakistani when I live in another country. Indians get good respect where ever they go. Not Pakistanis. It’s not the individuals fault but the Pakistani ploiticians, army and ISI who screwed up the country like dust bin. Recommend

  • Name
    Dec 2, 2010 - 4:06PM

    @Shaja,

    It seems your country has done much harm to you. As you have chosen to become educated and move out of Pakistan, i suggest you should also try to change the impression people have of Pakistan by presenting a humble personality of yours to them. Direct experience shapes perception faster than mass media.Recommend

  • Rao
    Dec 2, 2010 - 9:04PM

    I am a Pakistani and i am proud of it. And this is not good to hack any website. Its unethical.
    the above people commenting should realize Pakistan’s position. Muslims are not in darkness
    they are actuality leave the real teaching of Islam. and please don’t comment in that way other
    feel that you hate them. Recommend

  • Kazmis
    Dec 2, 2010 - 9:28PM

    Bad English is not an excuse. But I see on Indian Channels that (1:million) Indian speak wrong English like DEPRESSION or SITUATION with soft D and “SHUN” as SON. I wonder how they pass their matriculation. This condition is applied to engineers and Doctors also…Recommend

  • Dec 2, 2010 - 10:59PM

    If india could do any thing with pakistan, shoud come formard. This single pakistan is facing all the world. if it were indea instead of pakistan. it would have been ruined. Recommend

  • adnan manzoor
    Dec 3, 2010 - 12:36AM

    @jemjem You said it right!Recommend

  • indian
    Dec 3, 2010 - 12:48AM

    i am a indian(hindu).
    i think no one religion is bad .only people than follow that can be bad so muslim are not bad.
    if any indian say than muslim are bad than i say what u think about indian muslim. they also suffer from mumbai attack. lot of indian army person also muslim they also serve for india.Recommend

  • Umer Malik
    Dec 3, 2010 - 1:40AM

    Wao. That isn’t decent at all. You know what, Indians put the blame on us every time. They know the reality yet they don’t confess their illegal actions which have brought such a catastrophe in this region. Recommend

  • Dec 3, 2010 - 7:32AM

    good wark by indiansRecommend

  • Dec 3, 2010 - 9:35AM

    @Indian There is nothing in religion. Pakisthan doesn’t like the growing of India as a superpower. Thatz y it targeted World’s most populated city(Mumbai) to show their Power. But Indians are Together when such situations come.
    @prasad Can u do anything with your correct English, Which should be better than this (Indian Cyber Army) did..Recommend

  • Indian
    Dec 3, 2010 - 9:44AM

    Rather than english, look into the larger picture. It must have been deliberately written. I pity guys criticizing the hackers’ english. They are much better than most of us anyway.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Dec 3, 2010 - 10:23AM

    That’s a good way to give direct massage , without any constitutional low an order to the pakistani for what they did on 26/11.Recommend

  • Bhabani
    Dec 3, 2010 - 12:13PM

    we should not encourage such Cyber Attacks from India as we are better & educated than our be-wildered neighbours. We are least concerned about their internal activities and would rather prefer to stay in peace with them rather than throwing some silly jokes. So I would request the Indian Cyber Army to act as an ethical hacker and leave a message in a website to show they are vulnerable to hacking rather than taking them down completely…. With power comes Responsibility. America has been practising this sentence for quite sometime & now its our time to take the lead, So guys, be prepared for the sameRecommend

  • Anand
    Dec 3, 2010 - 12:40PM

    Let People live dear Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Sam
    Dec 3, 2010 - 12:52PM

    Its good to know at least there is someone who really cares for our countries honor, Hats off to u guys ‘Indian Cyber Army’.Recommend

  • joe ben
    Dec 3, 2010 - 1:09PM

    @Kazmis and @faraz – please change that attitude , look everybody understood what these hacker done and what they trying to say that is enough, they not a writer or poetry -they are hard –core hacker(fully loaded super genies) at-least try to appreciate what they done. only 3 month is enough to learn proper English but for you if you take life time you can’t be a hacker .

    @Kazmis , Faraz – days are counted … now the time comes where need to answer for the all the innocent life who died in terrorist attack. God is there Recommend

  • Muralimohan
    Dec 3, 2010 - 2:16PM

    Hacking govt websites (or any websites illegally) cannot be justified. Is this the way to show our protest towards the terrorists? We Indian’s should show more restraint IMO.Recommend

  • punit gattani
    Dec 3, 2010 - 2:44PM

    keep it up!!Recommend

  • Dec 3, 2010 - 3:45PM

    well done boys..I would say this is nice and peaceful answer, at the same time quite feel-able response to the opponents who are not ready to act quickly..Recommend

  • Ajit
    Dec 3, 2010 - 3:58PM

    My Dear Foolish Humans,
    I am surprised that so many of you believe that you are educated. Having attended a school or University does not make you knowledgeable.The proof is in the fact that inspite of being same species you are out to destroy each other. It wont be too far back in time that your ancestors came from the same womb. Even stupidest of species will not take pride in killing their own kind, least of all, the great men who strarted various religions to awaken some goodness in stupid humans.So dont make religion as an excuse to get at each other’s throats.
    All of you must accept the fact that you all are brainless and stupid.Hopefully some sense may dawn some day though there is no proof of that happenning ever.Humans will remain stupid; may be for ever.
    AjitRecommend

  • Waqas
    Dec 3, 2010 - 5:25PM

    @ Joe Ben

    Selective Indian memory!! While you see the hundreds of innocents killed in Mumbai, but your dont see thousands of innocents who continue to be killed in kashmir and other places in India.

    In Pakistan we have a good sense of humour, and we take these things in a stride.

    If some Pakistani hackers had done the same a typical indian response would be:

    Blame the ISI
    Blame LET, JUD, Kashmiris, Yetti, King Kong, Tarzan, Mickey Mouse etc.
    Amass troops on Pakistani borders
    Indian jingoist media crying hoarse
    Build up war hysteria against Pakistan
    Ask Pakistan to handover cyber attackers or else
    Go running to Papa Russia, Mama UK, Uncle Sam and crying your heart out against Pakistan and the threat it is to world peace
    Make sings, films, dramas which show one Indian hero taking on entire Pak Army and living to tell the tale – while falling in love with a Pakistani village girl ;-)

    I am very disappointed at the level of English of these ace hackers. Says a lot about the level of education in Indian schools.Recommend

  • Varun
    Dec 3, 2010 - 8:08PM

    Dont mean to discourage what hackers have been doing, it is amazingly fun.. But ya,, it would also help if this cyber army tried to hack into terrorist network and keep the right officers informed about the potential threats.. If stopping a terror attack is the purpose, it should be more like silent assassin. Like you hack into the server and still not reveal it to anyone… be a spy rather than being a 007… Recommend

  • vikas
    Dec 3, 2010 - 8:51PM

    really a nice job and this is nice and peaceful answer ……….Recommend

  • Dec 3, 2010 - 9:04PM

    before this gov web sites defecment pakistani hacker hacked in 1200 indians web sites. we hacked BJP Web site Nehor web site 5 top Hackers forums. Indians Media Web sites All site on the Record in Google.We R alreday Fighting Cyber War the indians Started Against Pakistan. Indians hacked pk gov web sites its does not mean that we are weak.its Our gov Weakness they are hosted Web sites on Cheap Web servers.All Pakistani Nation Should Understand Pakistani hackers is a big Power on the internet.Now the Pakistani government should strictly protect their sites.We had told them the same day when the problem was Created. We are happy he’s focused on our web sites and all have fine again.Pakistani people should not worry because pakistani Hackers alive.

    http://onlinehacking-news.blogspot.com/2010/11/pakistani-hackers-retaliate-to-2611.htmlRecommend

  • jemjem
    Dec 3, 2010 - 9:46PM

    strong textIndea is thinking about to become a supper power. they must first provide clothes to the there poeple first. after 100 or 200 year if they think so there could be a chanceRecommend

  • rajkumar
    Dec 3, 2010 - 10:44PM

    it is simply indiscipline.don’t encourage it.it is not long they will turn against you.
    the same situation Pakistan faces by encouraging terrorism.it is cowardice.you gain nothing except false sense of victory.Recommend

  • Mirwaiz
    Dec 4, 2010 - 6:18AM

    Though pakistani government says we want to talk to indians on issues but from my own experience with indians, i dont know how one have an intelligent conversation with them. normally countries talk business like give and take for example USA says there are some people in your country who are causing trouble for us, we say ok ill do something about them but in return will give us such and such, (give and take). with india we say we should talk on kashmir, indians say we wont talk on kashmir but you dismantle the LeT, we say ok then lets talk on water, indians say we wont talk on water you stop building road with china in gilgit-baltistan, we say ok then lets talk about what you are upto in afghanistan, indians say we wont talk on that you stop making nukes.

    And its remarkable that in the cooments indians are accusing pakistan of doing bad things while supporting hacking which is a crime and unethical itself.Recommend

  • Sinister
    Dec 4, 2010 - 7:05AM

    Kudos to the entire team …. Great Job Done!!!!
    Hope you are closely working with intelligence bodies for tapping sensitive information to help India in case of war or insurgency. Recommend

  • AMMO
    Dec 4, 2010 - 7:18AM

    @waqas:
    This post was there for Peace motives and what i find here is ,people are into Verbal Fights.
    Please suppport peace. If its the politicians you blame , then why do you agree to what they say you about kashmir.
    Although, hacking govt. websites was not a “genuine” plan to convey the message, but it has worked and gained popularity for the cause on peace.
    So, i hope anyone reply after this, would make sure that he/ she speaks for the cause of PEACE and not fall into the trap of hatredness as some people want.

    AMMO (INDIA)Recommend

  • rur0uni
    Dec 4, 2010 - 8:04AM

    hello everyone,

    my dear brother/sisters of indian and pakistani, i would like to state one thing here and that is neither MUSLIM nor HINDU are bad, both of the countries are best at their positions.that main thing is that some of the bad and currupts politians and big powers behind us working for dividing pakistan and india, believe me. we love indian and pakistani people as well. look for who are the people planning behind us, that is only one country UNITED STATES , they have a moto for us DIVIDE AND RULE, the USA knows BOTH india and pakista are most powerful countries in the world including IRAN. if we work togather USA will no more big super power.

    rur0uniRecommend

  • Dec 4, 2010 - 8:17AM

    I think nobody need to worry, as the response has been quite bold and effectiveRecommend

  • Sanjay
    Dec 4, 2010 - 8:19AM

    Hacking in any form is most detesful thing, IT guys can do better things. There cannot be any justification for such unruly work. But this hacking of Pakistan sites is also condemnable. There are better, more civilised forms of protest…like mails etc. My friends from India..lets not get into same groove as those who acted agaisnt innocent people in Mumbai..Jai Ho!Recommend

  • banita
    Dec 4, 2010 - 8:28AM

    @waqas dont be frustrated of what our great indian cyber army has done! Recommend

  • Rehan
    Dec 4, 2010 - 1:17PM

    Funny indians lol..Why do you guys forget, there are more indian sites to hack then Pakistani..Payback is hell!!Recommend

  • Faryal Tahir
    Dec 4, 2010 - 4:39PM

    Still, doesn’t prove anything. May be you all should read ‘Mootri’ by Sadat Hassan Manto and take hold of peace.Recommend

  • Shah Faisal
    Dec 4, 2010 - 5:21PM

    good counter attack of Pakistan cyber army, Indian people are biased in nature and all the world knows now, he hate Pakistani because they are more talented from indian, avoid this nature increase acceptance and play ur role to become this region more safer for allRecommend

  • Hasan
    Dec 4, 2010 - 10:19PM

    y indians are Biased ……jealous of pakisatn since 1947 lolxxxRecommend

  • ahsan
    Dec 6, 2010 - 1:41PM

    Hey
    @BA : If you were a pakistani you would have not said it at all ” it is better to be indian …”
    Now, I wonder, you Indians use every single platform to defame Pakistan when your own hands are in this dirty water of terrorism. We all know what you have been doing in kashmir , in asam and most importantly in the freedom fighter movement of sirilanka to de stabalize it. We all know that you south eastern cost was supporting the Tamil Tigers separation movement, and your government was restless when you found out that Pakistan has provided weapons to Sirilanka to crush them. We all saw your reaction when you planned an attack against sirilankan team in lahore. A murder of human is the murder of humanity, those killed in kashmir are human too, that police rider who was shot when RAW launched attack on sirilankan team, he was a human too. Why is that you raise your hands praying against terrorism and behind your back, you have 100 hands busy spreading it. You never miss a single platform in defaming Pakistan, your news channel are busy in doing this, your news channels utilize 60% of your time in stuffing you about what bad is happening in Pakistan and how bad is Pakistan for India and for the world.You all should stop being hypocrites. If you want peace then mean it, and if you want war then make sure you prepare for it.Recommend

  • johny 23
    Dec 6, 2010 - 3:22PM

    36 sites…. not impressive… check out the 270 our boys broke into… pakistan zindabad!!!Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Dec 7, 2010 - 8:43PM

    Haha…war gud joke…v r fully prepared.Recommend

  • Tarun
    Dec 7, 2010 - 8:48PM

    Indians indians n indiansRecommend

  • skywalker
    Dec 10, 2010 - 4:53PM

    Great Job done by all Indian Cyber Army..!!!Recommend

  • DJ
    Dec 12, 2010 - 9:54PM

More in Pakistan