Websites of many educational institutions hacked

In a cyber attack of sorts, websites of scores of educational institutions of the State were found defaced by unidentified hackers on Sunday. This has sent the managements in a tizzy.

The targets included Government universities and private technical institutes besides portals of other organisations. The hacker, who identified himself/herself as K9 Network Cyber Army, posted messages ‘protesting militarization of Jammu and Kashmir’.

The two major universities of the City are also among the victims. Utkal University of Culture found its websites compromised by hacker ‘Mahesh’. An index file was injected in the Utkal University’s website though it functioned properly.

Some of the private institutes such as Mahavir Institute of Engineering and Technology, Majhighariani Institute of Technology and Science and Majhighariani Institute of Polytechnic found their websites attacked by the hacker too. A bio-diesel project of Majhighariani was also compromised.

Most of the hacked websites are hosted by All India Online which is the host for a majority of Odisha colleges’ and other institutions’ websites. One of the dedicated servers of All India Online appears to have been hacked, said Amiya Kumar Mishra, certified ethical hacker and software security analyst.

“On a single day, many websites of the State have been hacked which shows many others are either already been compromised or prone to such a vulnerability,” he added terming it a cyber attack. It also gives a picture that websites in Odisha are sitting ducks for hackers, he pointed out.

Security analysts point out that the server, on which these websites are hosted, may have been rooted due to some critical security vulnerability. And because of which the hacker was able to compromise the server and change the index files of the websites.

Mishra said it is wrong to think that websites are hacked to steal data because not many of these web pages had valuable information. “What some of the hackers do is they upload some pages writing abusive notice against a country and e-mail the web page links to rival countries triggering a controversy.”

Sometimes hackers also try to park data by breaching into the server of the hacked websites. This case may be one of that.