Indian Defence Ministry says websites weren’t hacked after all

Indian Defence Minister
File Photo: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian Defence Ministry’s website and other government sites were hit by a technical issue on Friday but had not been hacked, the government said.

“The site showed what appeared to be a Chinese character and it was understandable that the site was perceived to be hacked,” a government statement said. “However, it has since been identified that the sites have not been hacked.”

Earlier on Friday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had tweeted that the ministry’s website had been hacked and that the government was working to restore it.

“Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken,” she wrote.

Screenshots shared on Twitter showed the website earlier displaying a Chinese character meaning a loose garment as worn by monks and an error message. Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the images.

India has in recent years increased focus on digital initiatives and security, but hacking attempts remain common. In 2016, 199 federal department and state government websites were hacked, government data showed.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Euan Rocha; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie)

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