Ministry Of Home Affairs, which oversees the internal security of the nation and domestic policy is an important interior ministry. The entire police force, the central paramilitary force comes under its preview, and sensitive information related to passports, details about Ministers etc is stored in their servers.
However, it seems that hackers had found a way to hack this crucial portal for few hours on Sunday. And the most embarrassing thing was that Govt. had no idea whether it was hacked or not.
MHA Website Hack: A Major Security Issue
On Sunday morning (February 12th), news erupted on social media that the main portal of Home Ministry: MHA.nic.in has been hacked. (the portal is running fine now..)
Visitors were receiving this message when they attempted to open the website:
Source: Times Of India
As soon as this news was published on various news websites, National Informatics Centre (NIC), which maintains and runs all Govt. websites blocked the MHA portal.
As per officials, Emergency Response Team started investigating the incident.
Govt Had No Idea About Hacking
Meanwhile, when reporters started questioning MHA officials, they replied that the website is not hacked. After some time, news came in that some officials are not even aware that the website was hacked or not.
Some officials said that it was regular maintenance drill, while some unnamed officials admitted that they have no idea.
Ministry spokesperson KS Dhatwalia said to IANS: “I don’t know when the site developed the snag. Details will be available after we find out the glitches.” On being asked when the site would be live again, he said, ‘We are checking..”
On the other hand, Deputy Director General NIC BN Shetty totally denied any reports of hacking. He said, “There was no hack or anything. The site was pulled down for auditing. Actually, there was a database problem. Sometimes it occurs. People thought that the site has been hacked. We have done the complete auditing. There is no malicious activity. We have now given green signal to release the site.”
He even called the reports about hacking as ‘funny’.
Interestingly, Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh was busy in poll campaigning, as his only Tweet on Sunday was regarding his plans of visiting various cities in UP for election campaigning.
This confusion on the state of Cyber Security of our Home Ministry website is indeed alarming, especially after the main website of National Security Guard (NSG) was hacked by Pakistani hackers last month. At that time, a group named ‘Alone Injector’ had posted a ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ message on the website.
Late in the evening, MHA officially declared that the website was indeed under construction, as they issued a statement: “There has been no hacking. The site is under construction, that is why it’s down,”
Such callous attitude to the safety and security of an important Govt. website, that too of Ministry of Home Affairs is indeed alarming and totally uncalled for. It not only induces doubt and apprehensions regarding Govt.’s other Digital missions but also gives an opportunity to our enemies to make fun of our cyber security and our efforts.
This incident shouldn’t be taken lightly, and a high-level enquiry should be executed to make sure that such incidents are not repeated.
"Was Ministry Of Home Affairs Website Hacked? Govt Has No Clue, As The Portal Was Shutdown!",