Pakistani hackers have claimed responsibility for hacking over 2,000 Indian websites on the country’s Republic Day, confirming reports published by the Indian media earlier this week.
“Hackers defaced more than 2,000 Indian websites – 2,118 to be exact – on Republic Day (January 26) in what is being termed as ‘a major cyber attack’,” The Hindu reported on January 29. According to the report, the attackers’ internet protocol (IP) address was traced to Pakistan.
“Most of the defaced websites were attacked by Pakistani hackers using the handles ‘StrikerRude’, ‘KashmirCyberArmy’, ‘PakCyberExpert’, ‘HUnterGujar’ and the operation was named as ‘#OP26jan’,” the newspaper cited the Global Cyber Security Response Team, Bangalore as saying. The websites targeted included that of the Central Bank of India.
Hackers, who claimed they were involved in the cyber attack, said three Pakistan-based hacking groups were responsible and said the act was meant as a ‘protest for the rights of Kashmiris’.
“Three teams – Team MaXiMiZerS, Pak Cyber Experts and Kashmir Cyber Army –worked together on this Republic Day of India,” one of the hackers involved in the cyber attack told The Express Tribune in email which identified him as ‘RUDE Hax’. He did not say which of the three teams he belonged to.
“The sole reason for this attack was Kashmir… On one side they [the Indians] are celebrating Republic Day, on the other side Kashmir is in crisis,” RUDE Hax said when asked about the motive behind the cyber attack.
“Kashmiris want freedom, we have heard this 100 times from many blogs and news [services]… Indians are killing innocent people in Kashmir because these people are Muslims and they [Indians] just want that part of the earth,” he added.
RUDE Hax said as many as 2,618 Indian websites were hacked, much higher than the figure reported by the Indian media.
“The Team MaXiMiZerS attacked 1,448 Indian websites in total, including those of the Central Bank of India and the State Bank of Patiala,” he said. “Pak Cyber Experts, the second team, attacked almost 1,050 Indian websites while Kashmir Cyber Army hacked 150 Indian domains,” the hacker added.
Another hacker, going by the handle Husnain Haxor, said the websites of Indian Railways, Assam Rifles, Thane Municipal Corporation and Jay TV were hacked as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2014.