Disclaimer: We are harbingers of peace. Violence of any manner: either offline or online is condemnable and we want to spread the message of peace to all.
The ongoing tension between India and Pakistan at Line of Control in Kashmir has now spilled into the digital world, as hackers from both the countries have declared all-out war against each other. Since last few days, several official websites of political parties, movie actors and government organizations have been hacked and defaced. Derogatory comments and memes have been shared on these hacked websites, thereby signaling that matters are serious this time.
The first reported instance of such wide scale hacking surfaced when an Indian hacker group, calling themselves “Indian Hackers Online Squad” led by a person with alias as “”Bl@k Dr@gon” hacked and defaced the official website of Pakistan People’s Party: www.ppp.org.pk, which is still reeling under the shock as the website is displaying a 403 error right now. You can see the cached version of the website (by Google) here.
Pakistan’s People Party is being currently led by Bilwal Bhutto, son of former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto; and was recently in news for inciting anti-India sentiments during political rallies in the last few weeks. This hacking attempt is being linked to those comments made by him against India.
Yesterday, official website of Pakistan Railways was also hacked by the same group, but the damage was not that intense, as the website quickly recovered.
Some observers are claiming that the hacking spree was initiated by Kashmiri pro-separatists when they hacked the official website of popular Malayalam actor Mohan Lal, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India since 2010.
In retaliation, Indian fans of Mohan Lal hacked the website of Pakistan’s National University of Modern Languages. The websites of Quaid-e-Azam Public College in Gujranwala (http://qpc.edu.pk/), Pakistan Electric Power Company (Private) Limited (www.pepco.gov.pk) and National Manpower Bureau (www.nmb.com.pk) were also subsequently hacked by this group, which called themselves “The Mallu Soldiers”.
Things got ugly earlier this week, when Pakistani hackers defaced the official website of Press Trust of India (PTI) and made fun of Indian PM Narendra Modi. They deliberately left this text on the defaced website: “Our Target is your Government’s Websites … We will Inshallaah with The help of Many Muslim Hackers Take You off from The Internet.”
The website has been restored and is cleared of any derogatory comments now.
Some other instances of hacking by Pakistani hackers poured in from various sources, which includes Sonu Nigam’s official website, TeamModi.in and couple of Punjabi newspaper’s websites.
Politicians and religious leaders from both the countries have pleaded everyone to calm down, and not to ignite more hatred, as it leads to no-where. India-Pakistan friendship group Aaghaz-E-Dosti has issued a statement for youths from both the sides: “We must know that for both the countries, peace is of utmost importance and also our common need is being focused on development rather than spending huge money of taxes for arms and ammunition…We believe that any dispute can be resolved only by talk and mutual negotiation and agreements and not with violence,”
We hope that the tension between these two countries de-escalate, and such mindless hacking and defacing of websites we stopped. In the end we leave you with this simple message.