Business Continuity Management / Disaster Recovery , Critical Infrastructure Security , Cybercrime as-a-service

Malaysian Hacktivists Target Indian Websites as Payback

DragonForce Malaysia's Alleged Victim List Comprises Government, Private Entities
Malaysian Hacktivists Target Indian Websites as Payback

A hacktivist group calling itself DragonForce Malaysia is taking credit for attacking and defacing at least 70 Indian government and private sector websites between Wednesday and Sunday last week.

See Also: Global State of Identities: Optimizing Identity Proofing

The group framed the attacks as payback for anti-Muslim remarks made by a now-suspended spokesperson of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, reports national daily Times of India.

DragonForce Malaysia

On Friday, the hacktivist group responded to a June 5 apology by Nupur Sharma on Twitter by writing that "Words & apologies don't seems to have enough effect. Your apology means nothing to us."

Operators of DragonForce Malaysia's Telegram channel on Friday posted a recruitment message for Operation Patuk or "OpsPatuk."

Screenshot of a recruitment message on DragonForce Malaysia's Telegram channel

DragonForce Malaysia made a similar announcement on Twitter on Saturday, listing about 70 websites that it claimed to have attacked. The alleged victims include educational institutions such as Delhi Public School and Nagpur's Institute of Science, travel and logistics companies S.M. Transport Services and R.R. Logistics, and government websites such as the Indian Embassy of Israel. Information Security Media Group's analysis of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows a message published by the group on Twitter appeared on the Indian Embassy of Israel's website on Friday.

More Alleged Victims

The group, in a video published through Telegram on Friday, says it hacked and exfiltrated data from Bharathidasan University Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Career Hub. The university did not immediately respond to ISMG's request to verify the claim. Its website currently appears to be under maintenance and displays a countdown timer and a message that the website will be back online in about two days.

Screenshot of the Bharathidasan University website (Source: ISMG)

On Sunday, the group tweeted that it had hacked into an unnamed Indian government database, posting screenshots of what appear to be full names, passwords and email IDs of individuals.

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology did not respond to ISMG's request seeking verification of the claim.

Six-Hour Reporting Mandate

None of the organizations, including those in the public sector, have confirmed the attacks. Starting later this month, organizations must report data breaches within six hours of their detection to Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (see: India to Set 6-Hour Breach Reporting Requirement).

Critics including Google, Apple and Facebook have raised concerns over the reporting requirement, writing to CERT-IN in May to express concerns over the tight reporting timeline and a requirement for organizations to maintain detailed log data for 180 days.

About the Author

Mihir Bagwe

Mihir Bagwe

Principal Correspondent, Global News Desk, ISMG

Bagwe previously worked at CISO magazine, reporting the latest cybersecurity news and trends and interviewing cybersecurity subject matter experts.

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