The Special Cell of Delhi police on Thursday apprehended a 17-year-old boy in connection with the hacking of the Union Public Service Commission or UPSC website. According to the police, the minor is a resident of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and is pursuing a technical course from a central university in Delhi and stayed in a rented house. The police have informed the boy’s father, who is said to be a businessman living abroad, about the incident.
A police official told The Indian Express that the boy had recently learned about hacking from the internet and was trying to hack several government websites since the last three weeks. “The boy told police, in front of counsellors, that he recently learned to hack from the internet. He had been trying to hack several government websites for the last three weeks but failed. Ultimately, he found the commission’s website was vulnerable and hacked it,” he said.
The UPSC’s official website i.e. upsc.gov.in was hacked on September 10, 2018 (Monday). The website’s homepage depicted an image of a heart and the photo of a popular cartoon character Doraemon along with the caption- “Doraemon!!!! Pick up the call”. The homepage also had displayed “I.M. STEWPEED” written at the bottom. The title music of the Doraemon also played in the background.
The incident came to light after a few candidates shared screenshots of the web portal on micro-blogging site Twitter. However, the website was restored on September 11, 2018.
The police nabbed the accused with the help of technical surveillance. “With the help of technical surveillance, police traced and apprehended him. The juvenile was produced in front of the Juvenile Justice Board and handed over to his brother, who is a software engineer,” said a police officer, reports IE.
A similar incident took place on August 3, 2018, (Friday) when some unknown persons hacked the official website of University of Delhi’s Maharaja Agrasen College and posted “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans with a warning “stop killing Muslims.”
According to a government data, more than 22,000 Indian websites and portals were hacked between April 2017 and January 2018. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT K J Alphons said that as per Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’s data, a total of 22,207 Indian websites were hacked including 114 government portals. The Union Minister also added that 493 websites were used for malware propagation.