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Hackers attempt to break into AP Government websites

Hyderabad, Feb 20 (PTI) Hackers today attempted to break into different websites of Andhra Pradesh Government departments even as a security audit was being conducted at the State Data Centre maintained by Wipro here.

"Hackers from Jakarta (Indonesia), Algeria and Turkey made repeated attempts to break into the government websites at different times in the forenoon but they were not successful," Information Technology and Communications Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said.

Last week, hackers broke into 27 websites of different AP government departments, including the budget portal, and added additional pages without defacing the home pages. It was suspected that the hackers could be from Bangladesh or Myanmar but no clear link could be established in this case so far.

The state government alerted the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) for access logs and screen shots for analysis, while the Cyber Crime cell of AP Crime Investigation Department has started a probe.

Based on a security analysis of the hacking, the CERT-In found that vulnerability in the website christianminorities.ap.gov.in was the root cause that led to the security breach.

Following the CERT-In report, the IT&C Department decided to get the security audit done on the web applications before restoration.

"Accordingly, Cyber Security Works was engaged for application security audit and the applications certified after audit will be tested by Wipro ethical hacking team before hosting. Applications having vulnerabilities are required for rectification by the developers of the respective departments," the minister said.

Ten sites were restored last evening, while audit on 12 others was on. The portal christianminorities.ap.gov.in, which was found to be the root cause that led to the hacking would be examined further, he said.

Lakshmaiah said he has convened a high-level meet on February 22 for further discussions on the subject.

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