BJP website taken offline after it was defaced, IT cell trying to resolve

The official website of the Bharatiya Janata Party was on Tuesday taken offline after it was, as reports submitted, defaced. The effort to visit the website initially showed an error on the homepage of the BJP’s online portal. Later, the website was taken offline.

“We’ll be back soon! Sorry for the inconvenience but we’re performing any maintenance at the moment. We’ll be back online shortly! — Web Admin” reads the note on the BJP’s website.

Multiple posts on Twitter claimed that those behind impairment of the BJP’s website left a meme that mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Divya Spandana, who heads the social media cell of the Congress, took a dig at the ruling party after its website was attacked. “Bhaiya aur Bhehno (brothers and sisters) if you’re not looking at the BJP website right now- you’re missing out,” she addressed on Twitter.

The BJP, however, is not the only party whose website has been tackled by hackers. The official website of the Congress was targeted in 2011 when the hackers defaced then party Sonia Gandhi’s profile page with objectionable material. The cyber attack matched with her 65th birthday.

Similarly, the Supreme Court website came under attack last year. The online portal of the top court showed “service unavailable” to visitors around 30 minutes after it removed pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of CBI court judge BH Loya, who was hearing the alleged Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. Sheikh was allegedly halted in a fake encounter in Gujarat in 2005.

The attack on the BJP’s website comes at a time when cyber-attacks on Indian government websites have been witnessed after Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed on February 14.

Hackers from Pakistan attacked over 90 Indian government websites and critical systems within hours of the Pulwama suicide strike by a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist in which 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed, senior officials in the security establishment said on condition of anonymity.

“There was an unusual surge of activity, attempts to breach systems,” a senior official in the security establishment said. The attack on Indian websites has been so ferocious that the government had to resort to “offensive measures” in the cyber domain to counter them, another official said.

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