Hackers have hacked over 300 websites. These includes those of central and state governments.
They have fallen to hackers’ hands orchestrating an online betting scam. Authorities believe that the culprits are operating from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Pakistan. They have exploited these compromised portals to display advertisements related to online gaming and cricket betting. The said advertisements direct unsuspecting users to payment gateways when they click on them. These are initiating potentially transactions that are fraud.
The lack of awareness within many state departments is an alarming aspect of this situation. It includes Resham Sanchalnalya of Madhya Pradesh, the Kerala government, the Telangana government, and the Uttarakhand Information Commission. Despite being alerted to such hacking activities, some statue authorities have yet to take any action.
CERT of The Computer Emergency Response Team of the central government has identified various websites involved in these fraudulent activities. Even Bureau of Indian Standards‘ official portal is responsible for alerting about counterfeit and adulterated goods. It has fallen victim to this betting scam.
The hackers’ method involves deploying ransomware attacks when cybersecurity teams attempt to rectify the compromised websites. This results in the complete capture of data from the targeted portals. Government websites meant to publicize important information as they are now increasingly becoming susceptible to ransomware attacks.
Researchers have identified many URLs as channels for online gaming and cricket betting links. This includes those of prominent government departments.
Some of these compromised portals are Agricultural Research Department, Government of India (ciae.icar.gov.in), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (foldcope.dbtindia.gov), UNESCO India (uia.mic.gov.in), School of Innovation Council, Government of India (sic.mic.gov.in), Housing Department, Government of Maharashtra (etapal.mhada.gov.in), Resham Directorate, Government of Madhya Pradesh (eresham.mp.gov.in), Uttarakhand Information Commission (uic.uk.gov.in), Bureau of Indian Standards (services.bis.gov.in), and Chennai Port Authority (chennaiport.gov.in).
Over 300 government portals are concerned as they are being used to spread links related to betting activities. These links are particularly active during cricket matches, with a flood of messages during live matches, especially popular tournaments like the IPL or the Indian Premier League.