Several websites managed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras were hacked on Thursday. The hacked websites include http://www.cce.iitm.ac.in, https://saif.iitm.ac.in and https://biotech.iitm.ac.in, apart from six department websites, five centres of excellence sites and five other sites.
According to IANS, the institute's website had pro-Pakistan messages posted on it - "Pakistan Zindabad" and "You don't know the power of Pakistan hackers".
The hacker is someone by the name 'Faisal 1337x', who put the photo of the famous joker from the Batman movie Dark Knight in the garb of McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald on its page, reported the wire service.
The hacked departments sites include biotechnology, civil engineering, humanities and social sciences, management studies, mathematics and mechanical engineering. Apart from this, websites of the Centre for Technology and Policies, Centre for Continuing Education, Health Care Innovation Centre, National Cancer Tissue Biobank, National Centre for Combustion Research and Development, Central Library, Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Centre, P G Senapathy Centre for Computing Research, Central Workshop and Central Electronic Centre were also hacked.
However, the main IIT Madras website ww.iitm.ac.in was not hacked.
Most hacked pages were restored after some time, except some, where the institute posted:
"This website is currently down, We are working to bring it up. Sorry for inconvenience caused."
"Some content of the university has been compromised after the websites were hacked," said IIT-Madras director of Bhaskar Ramamurthy told TOI. "The website containing information about the conferences that will be held at IIT-Madras has been hacked. This is because we have given access to a lot of people to put up content on the website through a password. The password must have been leaked."
"It has links to the cultural and technical fests. A lot of faculty members and students have access to this website. We have discussed this in the past, but we cannot help it. If we attempt to make the site more secure, then there will be complaints of delay about updating content on the website," said Ramamurthy.
IIT-M's annual cultural fest Saarang is expected to be held between 4 and 8 January, 2017.