The Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot has informed the Parliament of India, that a total of 133 Government websites were hacked during the period January to March, 2012, reports The Economic Times. He also added that a total of 92, 204 and 248 government websites were hacked during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Last month, Sachin Pilot had stated that a total of 112 Government websites were hacked during the period of December 2011 to February 2012 and the hacked websites included the websites of Government of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, and Manipur along with the websites of Ministry of Finance, Health, Planning Commission and Human Resource Development. He had also confirmed that BSNL was hacked by the Pakistani hacker group called ‘H4tr!ck’ on December 4, 2011, although the extent of damage caused remained unclear.
Referring to the Norton Cyber Crime Report published in 2011, Sachin Pilot stated that India had lost $4 billion due to cyber crimes in comparison to $114 billion worldwide, however he did add that the data in the report was based on a survey conducted across 19,636 people in 24 countries including 600 from India and was not validated. Last month, Sachin Pilot had informed that according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), around 125 Internet fraud cases involving an amount of Rs 1 lakh and above were registered in 2011, a significant dip from 269 cases recorded in 2009 and around 1798 Internet fraud cases involving an amount less than Rs 1 lakh, accounting to a total Rs 7.87 crore, was registered in 2010. In comparison, the year 2010 witnessed 2232 Internet fraud cases accounting to Rs 12.35 crore while 2009 saw 864 Internet fraud cases accounting to Rs 8.24 crore.
In addition, Sachin Pilot had also informed that The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered three cases pertaining to financial frauds under the Information Technology Act in 2011 and the agency had already booked two cases for 2012, as of Feb 29, 2012.
Updated with more information from Pilot’s response
Steps for Prevention: Sachin Pilot informed that Indian Government has taken several steps to prevent cyber attacks and financial frauds in the country. These include:
– The Information Technology Act, 2000 provides legal framework to address issues related to phishing, hacking and security breaches of the information technology infrastructure.
– The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats and countermeasures on regular basis. It also offers incident response service to handle phishing attacks on the banks across the country.
– Preliminary discussions have been held to establish a multi stakeholder National Cyber Coordination Centre which will detect malicious cyber attacks and issue early warning alerts.
– Organizations containing critical information infrastructure have been advised to implement information security management practices based on the International Standard ISO 27001. Ministries and Departments have been advised to carry out security audit of their information technology infrastructure regularly to ensure the robustness of their systems.
– The Government has circulated Cyber Security Policies and Guidelines for implementation in all Ministries/ Departments.
– Government is providing domain specific trainings on Cyber Forensics, Network & System Security Administration, facilitating skill & competence development in the area of cyber security. It has also setup various training labs in collection and analysis of digital evidence for Law Enforcement & Judiciary.
– The Government has formulated Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism, which is being implemented by all Ministries/ Departments of Central Government, State Governments and their organizations and critical sectors.
– Cyber Crime Update: 799 Arrested in 2010, Delhi Reported Highest Number of Cyber Crimes
– 117 Indian Government Websites Defaced Till July
– BSNL Website Hacked By Pakistan Cyber Army: Report
– NIC Website Site Hacked By Anonymous In Response To Ramdev Action