Indian government accuses UK, US hackers of website attack

The government of Uttar Pradesh, the northern province of India, has filed a First Information Report (FIR) to the police after one of its education department website was hacked, naming the UK and US as prime suspects.

The government website was hacked last month, with hackers replacing government information on a mid-day meal scheme for school children with advertisements for viagra and birth control pills, the latter an obviously touchy topic considering the country’s booming population of over a billion people.

The Indian government detected the hacking on July 22, State Basic Education Minister Dharam Singh Saini revealed in an address to the Assembly. He said that the advertisements were promptly removed, but that it considers this a very serious issue, with traces revealing the UK, US, and Ukraine as the top suspects for the crime.

“Stern action would be taken against all those found responsible for the same,” Saini stated, responding to opposition criticisms of the failures of the government to properly detect and prevent the incident. There were calls for action to be taken against government officials, considering the nature of the crime and the specific area of the education site the advertisements were placed.

The Indian government has recently banned the secure encrypted messaging features of BlackBerry smartphones and said it would target Skype and Google next, but perhaps it might benefit from better securing its own government websites as well. The Economic Times is here.