Indian telco BSNL's Web site breached by Anonymous India

Hacker group leaked company passwords and database, calling for the withdrawal of section 66A of country's IT Act, which limits citizens' freedom of speech and expression.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

India's largest fixed line telecoms operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been breached by a hacker group, which is demanding for the withdrawal of a controversial legislation allegedly suppressing freedom of speech and expression.

Anonymous India said in a Twitter post on Thursday, it hacked BSNL's Web site and leaked company passwords and database on Pastebin.

"Anonymous India demands the withdrawal of Section 66A of the IT Act," the post added.

The BSNL Web site is currently inaccessible, at the time of publication.

R K Upadhyay, the telco's chairman and managing director confirmed with the Press Trust of India the site had been hacked and it was working to restore it.

The hacker group further added in a message left on the site that it supported Indian activists Aseem Trivedi and Alok Dixit, who have gone on a hunger strike to protest against Section 66A of the country's IT Act.

Visitors to BSNL Web site were earlier greeted with the following message, the site is currently inaccessible at time of publication. (Source: The Hacker News)

The legislation's section had come under fire after the government last month announced that officers of the deputy commissioner rank of police or higher can register cases of offensive posts on Facebook, leaving the section open to misuse and repressing citizens' right to freedom of speech and expression, The Hacker News noted.

This is not the first time Anonymous India has hacked the country's sites in protest of section 66A of the IT Act.

Late last month, the personal Web site of Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal was hacked and defaced because he supported the section, according to The Hindu news site.

Michael Sentonas, Asia-Pacific vice president and CTO of McAfee, previously told ZDNet Asia that the increase in IT activities in the region may lead to governments revising their laws, and may not be in line with the views of some citizens. Hacktivist attacks against Asia-Pacific governments will continue if hacker groups "sympathize" with the citizens unhappy with the evolving policies, Sentonas said.

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