The website of Andhra University was reportedly hacked on Monday night. The hacker removed the home page of the 91-year-old institution and posted a page with slogans such as a ‘Free Kashmir’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. The hacker identified himself as Muhammad Bilal, without associating with any organisation.
Photo Source: The Hindu
Though the officials concerned came to know about it on Monday night, the page could be removed only on Tuesday morning.
Though the home page is linked to other sites, including the department site, he was unable to penetrate beyond the home page and luckily no data was lost, said Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao.
The university has two servers — one is fully owned and based in the university campus and the other is leased out from a server hiring firm in Bengaluru.
All important data such as hall ticket details and examination data is stored the university-owned server. Whereas, the web space is taken on hire from the Bengaluru-based firm to host the university’s official website. “This site has been hacked,” said Prof. Venkat Rao, in-charge of the computer centre. Sources in the university said that the contract with the Bengaluru-based, hiring the web space, is scheduled to end on May 30.
While the university-owned server is fully protected with latest firewalls, we have reservations on the server taken on lease. It is learnt that the firewalls are not upgraded and the passwords are not very secure, as the server space is leased out to many other firms across the globe. In such a scenario, there is a possibility of hacking into the site, said a senior professor from the Department of Computer Science, Andhra University.
This was the third time that the university site was hacked in the last three years. The authorities have lodged a complaint with the Three Town Police station and the case will be transferred to the cyber crime cell for investigation.