More hacking in Odisha can’t be ruled out: Expert

Cuttack: With the official websites of four government institutions and over 10 websites in Odisha having been hacked in the last six months, a cyber expert has said though there has been no financial loss to any of these websites, the possibility of hackers making fresh attempts on these and other sites cannot be ruled out.

The four government websites that have been hacked during this period are Regional Transport Authority (RTO), Ganjam, Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT), Odisha Staff Selection Commission (OSSC) and Utkal University. Apart from this, more than 10 websites of private agencies in the state have also been hacked during the period.

Talking to OTV, Biswajit Bastia, technical head, National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT), Odisha, said websites are hacked for a variety of reasons.

“The web designers not considering the security aspects while developing the websites, not using high-end, trusted and branded servers and theft of passwords are factors which enable hackers to have easy access to websites,” he said.

He said hacking is an illegal way of accessing websites by getting their passwords.

“Generally, hacking takes place when there is rivalry between business organisations, financial institutions and other competing agencies as they try to get information about the policies and functions of each other. Besides, some students also experiment hacking on some websites while some hackers are paid to hack certain websites,” Bastia said.

Asked to comment on the report of the State Cyber Cell that the four government websites have been hacked from servers in Philippines, San Francisco and Germany, he said in Internet technology, one can have access to any server from anywhere. Hence it is possible that the hackers could be from Odisha.

“Usually the concerned agency, after designing its website, purchases space from an overseas server to store its web data. The concerned agency should have a specific policy to set up its own server or to ensure adequate security layers so that hacking data from its website is not possible,” he observed.

On the possibility of hacking of websites of financial institutions, Bastia said hackers can transfer the money from the account of a person to other accounts.

Talking about remedial measures, Bastia said web developers should implement fool-proof security systems, use high-end servers and advise their customers to protect website data by giving strong passwords that would make it difficult for hackers to get access to the data through back-end entry method.

Bastia admitted that it is very difficult to identify hackers as most of them hack websites through foreign servers. Though some hackers have been identified in the past, no appropriate action has been taken against them, he added.

“This is one of the major factors for which the incidence of hacking has gone up alarmingly,” he noted.