17 Goa government websites hacked; opposition demands upgrade

Panaji, Aug 10 (IANS) The Opposition in Goa has demanded that the state government upgrade its cyber security infrastructure after the state legislative assembly was told on Wednesday that 17 state government websites were hacked over the last four years.

“The cyber cell of Goa Police is completely poor… It appears to be in coma. Major government websites are hacked and they are defaced. The government has not been able to find the culprit,” Independent MLA Vijay Sardesai said.

The Opposition MLA from Fatorda also said that the cyber cell was being used for intimidation of the incumbent government’s critics.

“Cyber crime cell is being used to intimidate people who are social media enemies. There is need to be proactive to insure that the right image of Goa goes out to India and the world,” Sardesai said.

Over the last four years, the websites of 17 state government departments of Sainik Welfare, Accounts, Water Resources, NRI Commission among others were hacked by unidentified hackers.

According to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar “the cause behind the attack was identified as the vulnerability identified in the content management system i.e. Joomla and accordingly all the websites were cleared of the vulnerabilities”.

“While the websites were hacked, the government has never lost substance, material or information. The hackers have only defaced and damaged the front page. Data has never been removed,” Parsekar said.

Parsekar also said that a new setup of web servers has been configured using all the latest technologies available in the market.

“The hacked websites were cleared of vulnerabilities and re-deployed on the newly configured web server. The OS hardening of the web server was also carried out to tighten the security of the websites,” Parsekar added.



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