25 websites of Central Ministries, state govts hacked between Jan-May 2019: Prasad

Most companies used VPNs to enable secure work-from-home during the pandemic. Representational image: iStock

About 25 websites of Central Ministries and state governments were hacked in the first five months of 2019, Parliament was informed on Thursday (November 28).

“As per the information reported to and tracked by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a total number of 199, 172, 110 and 25 websites of Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments were hacked during the year 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 (till May), respectively,” Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

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He noted that with the proliferation of information technology and related services, cyber attacks have become a global phenomena.

Cyberspace is virtual and borderless, thus cyber attacks can come from anywhere, anytime and by anyone…Government has taken several steps to prevent cyber security incidents and enhancing cyber security in the country,” he said.

The government has established National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country, as per the provisions of section 70A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, he said.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats and countermeasures on a regular basis. The organisation has also published guidelines for securing IT infrastructure which are available on its website, he said.

Responding to another query, Prasad said as per the data available from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) portal, 115.523 crore Point of Sale (PoS) transactions were conducted in April-May 2019.

The number of PoS transactions stood at 142.321 crore in 2014-15, 255.928 crore (2015-16), 348.643 crore (2016-17), 474.855 crore (2017-18) and 617.687 crore in 2018-19.

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