The News, Jang websites resume operation
By: Tariq Ahmed Saeedi
KARACHI: KARACHI: After a 6-hour downtime caused by hacking of PKNIC servers, the websites of The News and Jang became available to visitors on Monday afternoon.
The websites were among those with .pk domains attacked by the group of hackers Pakbugs, which has a track record of launching cyber attacks in the recent past. As a result, the websites for The News and Jang were offline between 6am and 12pm.
According to information posted on the zone-h.org/archive, an internationally-renowned platform that registers updated records of defaced websites from all over the world on a minute-to-minute basis, thenews.com.pk, jang.com.pk, propakistani, express and few others with .pk domains were defaced by the hackers.
The webmaster for the Jang Group of Companies said that the hackers hit domain host PKNIC’s database and defaced websites with domain of .pk. “We are asking them about security of database and also about their sluggish response to recover our sites, which rendered us reputation and financial losses,” he said.
However, PKNIC officials were not available for comments. Prior to this attack, Pakbugs has hijacked several websites, news blogs, etc. The group was earlier nabbed by the Federal Investigation Agency for charges of hacking and defacing thousands of websites in July 2010.
According to an FIA official, the group of five arrested included Ahmad Hafeez from Lahore (nickname: vergil); Hassan Khan from Peshawar (nickname: x00mx00m); Farman Ullah Khan from Bannu (nickname: Farman); Malik Hammad Khalid from Rawalpindi (nickname inject0r) and Taimoor Zafar Bhatti from Rawalpindi (nickname: h4v0c).
While the reasons for the attack on the PKNIC servers are yet unclear, industry experts say that sometimes, hackers are just seeking attention. In past, successful hackers have convinced their targets to provide them with jobs.
This attack comes at a time cyber terrorism is on the rise across the globe. Even strong security measures have not been able to prevent the breaches. Recently, micro blogging site Twitter lost passwords of 250,000 users to hackers. Various western media outlets including The Washington Post have come under cyber attack.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that there has been an increase in hacking attacks on both state institutions and private companies.