The official websites of Pakistan's Foreign Ministry and the Army were hacked on Saturday night, making them inaccessible for users outside the country. Later, several other websites were hacked and defaced. The hackers left behind a message stating "We will never forget #14/02/2019".
According to the report in Pakistan's Dawn, the government websites were working fine within the country, but users from other countries were unable to access them. Ministry spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said, "The website is functioning without any issues in Pakistan. However, visitors to the website from Holland, Australia, Britain, and Saudi Arabia are facing difficulty opening it."
Several media reports say a list of the hacked websites is being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms claiming that "Pakistan has faced it's worst cyber attack in history, in last 72 hours". A lot of these websites have been brought back to normal now. "The IT team is currently occupied in thwarting the hackers onslaught," Faisal added.
The list of Pakistani websites hacked include:
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Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website was accessible in India, but an attempt to open the Pakistan Army website showed the following message: "The owner of this website has banned the country or region your IP address is in (IN) from accessing this website."
Pakistan believes the hackers are of Indian origin because defaced websites referred to the recent Pulwama attack. These cyber attacks by Indian ethical hackers come after over 40 CRPF personnel were killed on 14th February 2019 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. Previously, fingers were pointed to India-based hackers when the official website of PPP was found defaced in June 2017.
Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack, and the group is known to be shielded by the Pakistani administration. The Indian government has slammed Pakistan over its terror links, but the neighbouring country has denied charges.
Over 50 countries have condemned the barbaric attack and expressed support to India in its fight against terrorism. Immediately after the attack, India withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, which was accorded to Pakistan in 1996.