Less than an hour after the Defence Ministry website was hacked, the Law Ministry, Home Ministry and Labour Ministry websites were found to be inaccessible, with error messages.

According to reports, the MHA was informed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that the website was facing difficulties due to a storage problem, and that the issue was being fixed.

Speaking to KhabarLive, cyber security chief Gulshan Rai confirmed that the failure was due to a storage problem in the NIC network, leading to a problem on some of the sites.

Yes, there has been a problem due to hardware failure in the storage system of NIC network that has caused some of the sites to develop a problem. But there is absolutely no hacking of any nature from anywhere, and the hardware is being replaced.

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The Ministry of Defence website was hacked earlier in the day, with a Chinese character appearing along with an error message on its homepage.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed the hack within an hour of reports emerging of the website being down, assuring that steps would be taken to “prevent any such eventuality in the future.”

However, the NIC denied report of the website having been hacked, stating that the error message was due to some ‘technical issue’ which had been present since 2.30 pm.

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According to a user on Twitter, the Chinese character seen on the website reportedly translates to ‘meditation.’

Earlier in the day, the CERT, which is the government’s computer emergency response team, had issued a notification reporting a ‘vulnerability’ in the malware protection engine, stating that it could ‘help a remote attacker to execute code on the target system’.

This is not the first time that government websites have come under an attack. In fact, over 114 government portals were hacked between April 2017 and January 2018, Parliament was informed in March.

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Early in 2017, some miscreants suspected to be Pakistanis, hacked the website of the National Security Guard, defacing it with an expletive message aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and an image of the police beating up civilians with accompanying text “Free Kashmir.”

A month later, the website of the Home Ministry was hacked, with the Ministry having to take down the website temporarily. #KhabarLive

(This is a developing story, and will be updated with more details)