An Indian parliamentary house panel has called upon the government to bolster the cyber security measures of central and state government websites following revelations that 373 websites fell victim to hacking between January 2018 and September 2023. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) disclosed this information to the parliamentary committee on communications and information technology.
According to MeitY, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) recorded a total of 110, 54, 59, 42, 50, and 58 incidents of website hacking in central ministries/departments and state government organizations during the years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 (up to September), respectively.
Reacting to these findings, the house panel presented a report in the parliament titled “Digital Payment and Online Security Measures for Data Protection” on February 8. It urged the government to reinforce critical digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, the committee highlighted that some government offices were using outdated software on laptops and computers, rendering them susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Despite MeitY issuing regular guidelines on ensuring the cyber security of government cyber infrastructure, the committee stressed the importance of adhering to these guidelines and recommended the ministry to update the entire government infrastructure concerning cyber threat management. The committee expects to be informed about the actions taken in this regard.
India constitutes 13% of cyber-attacks in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, positioning it as one of the top three most targeted countries by nation-state actors, as per the report.
Moreover, Microsoft cautioned that hackers were employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for cyber attacks. The report suggested embracing Responsible AI practices to maintain user trust, privacy, and long-term benefits, citing examples such as AI-powered cyber defense in Ukraine countering Russian attacks.