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Website of Indian Institute of Advanced Study hacked

Three servers connecting main website carrying details about institute’s history and archives affected; files of research fellows encrypted
Hindustan Times, Shimla | By Gaurav Bisht, Shimla
PUBLISHED ON OCT 30, 2019 10:40 PM IST

Hackers encrypted more than 1,000 files from the website of The Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), a research institute based in Shimla.

The hackers purportedly hacked three servers connecting the main website of the institute carrying details about its history and existence. The hackers also encrypted the files of the research fellows in the institute apart from the archives and monologues preserved in the library.

“I was told that the institute’s website has been hacked by a ‘black hat’ (tomandjerry@cock). All files have been re-encrypted and are not accessible. Any help will be appreciated. We are trying to restore the data and our trying to get our sites up and running,” IIAS director Makarand Prajapaye wrote on his social networking site.

A black hat hacker is a person who attempts to find computer security vulnerabilities and exploit them for personal financial gain or other malicious reasons. This differs from white hat hackers, which are security specialists employed to use hacking methods to find security flaws that black hat hackers may exploit.

Hacking has come weeks before the IIAS organises a lecture by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Universal Brotherhood in New Delhi next month.

The institute, after learning that the three servers had been hacked, filed a complaint with Himachal Police’s cyber police station in Shimla.

A police official, requesting anonymity, said, “We have received a complaint and our team is working on it. So far, we cannot disclose from which country the hackers have pried upon the website.”

Institute secretary Col Vijay Tiwari said, “The institute has registered a complaint with the cyber cell and repeated attempts are being made to restore the data.”

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