Several websites in Sri Lanka have fallen victim to a series of cyber-attacks. According to the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT), a group of unknown intruders allegedly attacked numerous Sri Lankan websites, including other websites like Kuwait Embassy in Colombo, the Tea Research Institute in Talawakelle, the Rajarata University in Mihintale, and 10 other private institutions’ websites.
SLCERT stated that they’re investigating on the incident combinedly with the TechCERT and the Cyber Operations Center that operates under the Ministry of Defence.
Commenting on the incident Dileepa Lathsara, the CEO of TechCERT, the attackers targeted on vulnerable websites that are equipped with minimum cybersecurity measures. Lathsara stated that most of the affected websites were restored to their previous condition and urged citizens to fortify security measures to their websites.
In a similar incident, cybercriminals attacked Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Army websites recently. According to the spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, the ministry received several complaints from various countries reporting that the websites were inaccessible from February 16, 2019. It’s believed that the attack was originated from India, Pakistan’s news site Dawn reported.
The cyber-attack was the wake of the terrorist strike in Pulwama, Kashmir on February 14, 2019, that claimed the lives of 40 Indian CRPF personnel. The Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the responsibility for the attack. “The IT team is currently occupied in thwarting the hackers’ onslaught. The website is functioning without any issues in Pakistan. However, visitors to the website from Holland, Australia, Britain, and Saudi Arabia are facing difficulty opening it,” Faisal said in a statement.
Pakistan encountered a similar incident in November 2018, when hackers attacked almost all the banking websites in the country. Every person holding a bank account may have become vulnerable to cyber threats, as data from almost all the banks of the nation was stolen in a security breach. The incident was revealed by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime chief, Captain (retd) Mohammad Shoaib. In an interview with Geo News, he said, “Almost all [Pakistani] banks’ data has been breached. According to the reports that we have, most of the banks have been affected.”
According to him, there are over 100 cases that the agency is currently been investigating. The agency has also arrested several gangs that have been involved in cybercrime and recovered the stolen money. One of the recent apprehended gang used to withdraw money from people’s accounts while masquerading themselves as military officials.