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ISRO’s commercial website hacked and defaced

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Bengaluru, (IANS) In a major security breach, the website of the Indian space agency’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation has been hacked, a senior official admitted on Sunday.

“Home page of our commercial division (Antrix) has been defaced. We are finding out how it happened,” an ISRO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS.

The website (www.antrix.gov.in) was blocked within minutes after its home page was found having weird content and a message saying “This site is under construction. Come back soon” put up.

In place of information about Antrix and its activities, the home page had an article in English on “about 300 kids from Cape Town getting American Major League jerseys at cheap prices in China”.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) declined to confirm if Chinese hackers were behind the incident.

“Our technical teams are investigating the incident. We would not comment without knowing how it happened and who is behind it,” said the official.

The space agency’s own website (www.isro.gov.in) and its other associated sites are safe and are accessible.

Incidentally, Antrix home page was hacked two days after the space agency on Friday night deployed five British commercial satellites.

“The Antrix Corporation’s website certainly seemed to be hacked a couple of days back. And the company has pulled down the site. It was hacked in 2011 too. It seems the company has not taken sufficient security measures,” city-based Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation founder J. Prasanna told IANS.

On Friday, Antrix Corporation’s chairman and managing director V.S.Hegde told IANS that the company’s website is being revamped and annual reports would be uploaded on the site.

According to Prasanna, the link given to a Chinese shop could be a diversionary tactic to give a China angle to the hacking.

He said for hackers of government websites and public sector undertakings, Friday is the prime day as the next two days are holidays.

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President Ram Nath Kovind Pays His Condolences to Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death.
India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death. Flickr

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Kofi Annan
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. Flickr

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

Also Read: New AI Model to Identify the Risk of Heart Disease in Indians

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic. (IANS)

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