Central ministries and departments have been warned against hosting their official websites on servers owned by private companies, particularly those located outside the country.
This has been communicated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which feels that hosting on private servers poses a serious threat to websites.
Sources said the ministry has suggested that websites be put on servers of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Education and Research Network (ERNET) or any other server owned by the Union or state governments.
The alert came in the wake of incidents of hackers breaking into government websites hosted on private servers.
Hackers not only deface websites, but also steal valuable data or even manipulate data or insert malicious content.
Cases of leakage of sensitive information from the National Security Council Secretariat have been reported recently.
Intelligence agencies do not rule out the possibility of hackers easily breaking into websites hosted on private servers or those located abroad as these servers do not spend much on upgrading their firewalls to prevent leakage of information on hacking.
Another reason behind the Home Ministry directive was that in case of information leak from a server hosted abroad, there are difficulties in investigating the case.