Algerian hackers carried out a successful cyber attack on a government server which hosts websites of extremely sensitive organisations and defaced websites operated by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Five more websites including that of the West Bengal police were defaced by the hacker group which identified itself as ‘SanFour25’.

The defacements came to light when zone-h.org listed them on its website on Wednesday.

Till late on Wednesday night, only one site ‘rciregistration.nic.in’ was taken off the servers, while the other six continued to display the pages added to them by the hacker. An interesting aspect of this cyber intrusion is that the homepages of the targeted websites have not been touched. The hacker ‘SanFour25’, however, added pages to the sites, in which he mentioned his name without any message, as done by other hackers.

The most sensitive website that came under attack was the one operated by the Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC) of the DRDO (www.rac.gov.in/experts/Dz.php).

The RAC recruits scientists for various DRDO laboratories and also assesses the suitability of DRDO scientists for promotions. The other most important website was the one hosted by the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovations (http://iii.gov.in/tmp/Dz.php).

The other victim websites were: West Bengal police (http://policewb.gov.in/wbp/coounter.txt); Directorate of Estates of Ministry of Urban Development (http://gpra.nic.in/gpra/writereaddata/Dz.php), Biotechnology Industry research Assistance Council (http://birapdt.nic.in/video.Dz.php), UT of Diu (www.diu.gov.in/departments/Dz.php) and http://rciregistration.nic.in/rehabcouncil/Dz.php’.

A Hyderabad-based cyber security expert Kusumba S. told ‘The Hindu’ that the hacker had apparently accessed the host server and modified the root files of respective websites. “This could be dangerous because the hacker could have stolen data as he had complete access to root files,” he felt.