Most government websites are sitting ducks for hackers

Virtual threat

Most government websites are sitting ducks for hackers

Instead, they have warned that leaving too much information unprotected about websites, such as server ports and details of applications hosted in it, a common vulnerability amongst government sites, would make them potential targets for hackers, costing huge financial losses.

“A lot of information is revealed about the website when it is running on a virtual server,” said the administrator of www.restoresecurity.com, a website developed by Bangalore-based ethical hackers. Contrary to police claims, they have said there was no firewall protecting the server, which was running on Linux.

The Pakistani hackers first managed to gather vital information about the website by doing a thorough check about the available vulnerabilities.  The site www.mallyainparliament.in was hosted in Florida (US) with the Planet.com Internet Services Inc with the IP address: 174.132.144.7.

Most importantly, server’s signature was exposed which enabled the hacker to gain information about the application configuration. Apart from this, other aspects like Cross Site Scripting and PHP, the programming language in that particular site, was also very weak, they said.

After penetrating into the site, the hackers then installed a programme through Remote File Inclusion system which again enables them to take control over the server anytime. According to them, the  particular website being hacked hit the headline as it belongs to Vijay Mallya, but there are thousands of government websites vulnerable to attack.

All most 95 per cent of the government websites are open to such threats with
ill-equipped application configurations. That no site can be 100 per cent protected is the ugly truth of cyber world, skilled administrators for configuration of the server, enhanced endpoint security and regular upgradation of security patches can challenge the hackers.

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