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January 4, 2017

India, Pakistan cyber war intensifies

National

January 4, 2017

NEW DELHI: Indian hackers claimed to have hacked Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan International and Karachi airport

The hack comes just days after Pakistani hackers, identifying themselves as 'Alone Injector', posted offensive content on NSG's official homepage. As most were preparing to celebrate New Year, hackers from India and Pakistan were busy firing shots across the online border in the ongoing cyber war between the two countries.

Indian hackers allegedly infected three Pakistan airport websites with ransomware claiming that this was to avenge hacking of the official website of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) by their counterpart in Pakistan.

Indian hackers on Monday night claimed to have hacked Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan International and Karachi airport website. Not only they have hacked and brought the website down, but have also injected it with ransomware malware which restricts the owners use of their website. Indian hackers locked the access to the websites and are demanding bitcoins (virtual money) in exchange for unlocking it. However, an Indian hacker told Mail Today that last time the money they got from Pakistan to unlock their computer was donated to needy kids but this time, they will not share the key to unlock the sites.

The move came just a day after Pakistani hackers, identifying themselves as 'Alone Injector', posted the offensive content on NSG's official homepage. The website belonging to the 'black cat' commandos is maintained from the NSG headquarters and gives out basic information about the force, its origin and operations.

The matter has been brought to the notice of the National Informatics Centre, and remedial action is in process. Retaliating immediately, Indian hackers have launched a massive attack on crucial Pakistan establishment and warned both Pakistan hackers and the government against attacking India further.

This hacking group in past had infected the Pakistan government systems, taken control over hundreds of computers and locked its complete data, making it inaccessible - using a malicious programme. The hacking group also leaked details of Pakistan army officers and banking details.

However, there was no confirmation by any security agency about it as the hackers from both the countries are not officially. This fighting started last week after Pakistan cyber attackers hacked

Thiruvananthapuram airport's website, a group of cyber experts from Kerala - the 'Mallu Cyber Soldiers' - decided to respond in kind: by hacking the website of a Pakistani airport. The hacker obtained the login information for the website of the Sialkot International Airport in Pakistan's Punjab province. They changed the password and shared the new login details with the public. Experts believe the hacking of airport websites can be used to get out crucial information about flights, which can have serious consequences.

Moreover, leaking of details about the individual airports - from logistics to facilities - is also dangerous. Experts believe that intelligence-gathering process has increased as hackers are not only defacing the sites but are silently spying on critical networks. 'Indian hackers have only replied after observing malicious intention of Pakistani hackers.

'Techies across the border targeted Indian sites result of which NSG's website was hacked. Such fights are common but now the intensity of attacks have increased many fold as hackers from both the countries are targeting crucial websites,' said Kislay Choudhary, a cyber crime expert.

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