It appears that the hacker group Anonymous has upped the ante on its hacking activities after re-emerging in the country a fortnight back, to protest against the recent incidents of Internet censorship in India.
The hacker group has now defaced the official websites of Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited, All Indian Trinamool Congress (AITMC) and several websites related to the Mizoram government including the Mizoram Police website, Social Welfare website, Agriculture (Research & Education) Ministry, Mizoram Food And Allied Industries Corporation and many more.
However, it should be noted that majority of these websites have been restored at the time of writing this post.
Earlier, Anonymous’s opIndia had taken down the Indian Supreme Court’s website and the official website of the All India Congress Committee, in its response to Internet censorship in India through DDoS attacks.
In an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) based press conference hosted at anonops.com, the group had accused Reliance (Communications) of going beyond the mandate given to it by courts and the government and blocking sites without authorization. Anonymous Operation India members had said that they had hacked into Reliance’s servers and obtained a list of all government blocked websites, as well as links to sites that have been blocked by Reliance. They had added that they had hacked into BIG Cinemas, sharing documents like ticket scans and claimed that they had access to credit card information, but chose not to disclose it to protect users. Further, AnonOps India has planned a protest for June 9th 2012 across several cities like Mumbai and Chennai among others, asking citizens to protest these blocks by wearing a mask.
Over the last weekend, Anonymous Operation India(AnonOps India) also hacked into Reliance servers and were redirecting users who were trying to access websites including Twitter, to a page on which they had given a 24 hour deadline to the Indian Government to re-enable the group’s suspended Twitter account. It’s worth noting that in June 2011, Anonymous India’s Twitter account and the Facebook account were suspended and all the information from its YouTube account including the group’s video press release was removed and there was no activity from the group for almost an year.
As an aside, it’s quite interesting and significant to observe the security (or rather the lack of it) on government body websites, despite several measures taken by the government. To give you some context, the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot had informed the Parliament of India in April 2012, that a total of 133 Government websites were hacked during the period January to March, 2012 and there has been similar reports in March 2012 and August 2011.
– Anonymous India Releases Reliance’s Site Block List; Calls For On-Ground Protest On June 9th 2012
– Anonymous Hacks Into Reliance Servers; Redirects Users To Warning Page
– Anonymous Takes Down Websites Of Indian Supreme Court & AICC #IndiaBlocks