Citizens who tried to log on to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) website on Friday morning were in for a surprise. They found that the website (www.bbmp.gov.in) had been hacked. The BBMP officials, who were flummoxed by the unexpected turn of events, immediately set about trying to restore it.
According to officials from the Cyber Security Response Team, who are investigating the hacking, the home page had been defaced. A message on the page reportedly read: “Hacked by Brothers Team. Where is the security?” Also on display on the page were pictures of four masks.
An official told The Hindu that only the defaced home page was visible and navigation to other pages had been removed. “However, there has been no data loss. This hacking was flagged in our system. We were also contacted by the BBMP at around 8 a.m. The website was restored by 11 a.m.,” the official claimed.
It is said that the team has recommended lodging a complaint with the Cyber Crime police station.
T. Sheshadri, IT adviser to the Commissioner, told mediapersons here that since miscreants had hacked the website, the BBMP had sealed it to allow only one-way communication. Only two people, who have biometric identity cards, have been authorised to make changes, if any, on the website.
No great harm
He also claimed that the hacking did not affect property tax payments, and that the BBMP help centres had collected around Rs. 3.87 crore of tax till 6.30 p.m. on Friday, while on Thursday, the collection was around Rs. 3.49 crore. As many as 680 online payments were made on Thursday.
Till 6.30 p.m., as many as 425 online transactions were made on Friday. “The reduction may be attributed to the fact that not many people want to pay bills on Fridays,” he added.
Mr. Sheshadri said that the website's other pages were not touched. “In any case, we have strengthened the security to ensure that this kind of hacking does not recur.”
While reiterating that the website was restored within two hours, he said that the BBMP had already sent screen shots of the hacked website, accompanied with a letter to the Cyber Crime police station.