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Dec 26, 2006 at 06:08pm IST

India was hacker's paradise in '06

New Delhi: According to an analysis by the Department of Information Technology India remained an Internet hacker's paradise in the first half of 2006.

A survey conducted by Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) shows that till June this year, 39 '.gov.in' sites were defaced, which is 15 per cent of the total number of hacked sites in the '.in' domain while 81 '.co.in' websites were defaced.

The Emergency Response Team at Cert-In handles computer security incidents in India.

HUGE INCREASE: Hackers took advantage of poorly written web scripts or vulnerability of web servers.

Of the total 1,752 Indian websites defaced, 67.5 per cent were '.com' domain websites and 15.9 per cent were '.in' websites.

There has been a phenomenal increase in the '.in' domain (India specific) defacements. The first half of 2006 saw 278 '.in' websites being defaced - the majority of these were commercial websites.

This is a huge leap from 2005, when the number of websites that were defaced in the whole year amounted to 373.

A high number of Country Code top level domain sites -- .co.in, .net.in, .gov.in, .org.in, .nic.in, .ernet.in, .ac.in and .res.in -- were defaced with commercial sector contributing 68.3 per cent of the defacements and Government sector had a share of 27.3 per cent of this.

Three Indian Government sites were also defaced on the VSNL network were -- www.fmc.com, www.railnet.com and www.ieg.com.

Government officials have told PTI that most defacements result from hackers using pre-fabricated exploits to gain administrative control of the target system and then replacing the web pages hosted on the system with their own systems.

On rare occasions, attackers may not have had an opportunity to gain any user-level privileges on the target server but were able to take advantage of poorly written web scripts or vulnerability of web servers to carry out the