ISRO operates a commercial hand popularly known as ANTRIX Corporation Limited, which is owned by Government of India and managed by Department Of Space. In September 1992, this company a company named ANTRIX was incorporated as a private company.
Top news headline of this Sunday featured that ANTRIX web portal was hacked. Although other pages of the website (www.antrix.gov.in) were completely functional, home page of it featured an article about some cheap jerseys from China.
Initially top officials of ISRO denied the fact that Antrix website was hacked saying it was nothing but the site being re-constructed at the point when cyber-attack happens. They even try not to bring it to public attention. But later on, one of the officials confirmed about the mischief being done to Antrix website. They accepted that the site was being hacked.
When asked whether Chinese had to do anything with hacking of Antrix web portal, they simply try to ignore and said our top officials are investigating and they will eventually find out sooner or later who are actually involved in this deed. It is believed to be Chinese behind this handiwork. US Intelligence on June 26, claimed China to be top suspect in massive hacking of US Government Agency.
At this moment, all fingers are pointed towards China. Indian officials are not denying the fact that China might be behind all this. However, no one till now has taken full responsibility of this shameless incident that had happened on Sunday.
As soon as the hacking took place, the web portal www.antrix.gov.in was blocked and whoever tries to access the webpage gets a pop up in the screen citing “The site is temporarily under construction, come back soon”. When the officials inquired about how much time it would take for the site to be fully functional, none of the officials said anything except that they were looking into this matter and hopefully site will be functional soon.
This hacking was done just two days after ISRO successfully launched five British commercial satellites through Polar Satellites Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C28) in its 28th flight lifted from Sriharikota. So officials are pretty much serious about the matter and trying to find out who are main culprits behind this whole operation.
One might consider this as the worst thing happened to government website. Indeed it is but this is not the first time Antrix website has been hacked. Antrix website was hacked previously in 2011. It seems that official were not at all serious about the security of a government website. Hopefully this time they might consider this seriously.
Antrix being major part of ISRO handles all the marketing aspects taking from promotion and commercialization of space product. Antrix Corporation limited is attached to various companies worldwide and provide products and services to them and active support to other space institution across the globe.