Over 600 govt social media accounts hacked since 2017, govt tells Parliament

Over 600 social media accounts of the central government were hacked in the last five years, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Responding to a query on the hacking of governments’ Twitter handles and e-mail accounts, the minister said since 2017, 641 such accounts have been hacked.
Altogether 175 accounts were hacked in 2017, 114 in 2018, 61 in 2019, 77 in 2020, 186 in 2021 and 28 so far this year, he said in a written reply.

Thakur said the information was made available by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to the Ministry of Electronics And Information Technology (MeitY).

Responding to the query on steps being taken by the government to prevent such intrusions in future, the minister said in order to enhance cyber security, CERT-In was set up. It issues alerts and advisories about latest cyber threats and countermeasures on a regular basis to ensure safe use of digital technologies.

“CERT-In has issued 68 advisories for organizations and users for data security and mitigating fraudulent activities. “On observing compromise of websites / e-mail / Twitter accounts, CERT-In notifies the affected entities along with remedial actions to be taken. CERT-In coordinates incident response measures with affected entities, service providers, sectoral Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) as well as Law Enforcement Agencies, ”the minister said.

CERT-In is operating an automated cyber threat exchange platform for proactively collecting, analyzing and sharing tailored alerts with organizations across sectors for proactive threat mitigation actions by them. He said security tips have been published for users to secure their desktop, mobile / smart phones and prevent phishing attacks.

“CERT-In has set up the National Cyber ​​Coordination Center (NCCC) to generate necessary situational awareness of existing and potential cyber security threats. Phase-I of NCCC is operational, ”the minister said.

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