A major security breach was recorded at the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Delhi which manages the security of the country's critical cyberinfrastructure and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
According to police sources, over 100 computers containing important data related to the national security and the VVIPs like Prime Minister Narendra Modi were compromised following the security breach.
The NIC falls under the MeitY, which manages the information and communications technology (ICT) for the government, implements the national and state level e-governance projects, offers consultancy services to various departments of government, conducts development, research and capacity building.
The computers also contained critical data with respect to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Minster, senior government officials, and Indian citizens among others.
An investigation was started in early September following which a case was registered by the special cell of the Delhi Police under the Information Technology (IT) Act as soon after the attack took place. The investigation led them to a Bengaluru firm from where the bug originated.
The complaint stated that a MeitY employee was not able to access his email and something was wrong following which the police found out that computers of several others were also hacked into. Through initial findings, they observed emails suspected to be a malware attack sent to these systems. When the users clicked on the link attached to the email, the systems were facing troubles.
According to sources, the harmful email (email IP address) originated from a US-based company based in Bengaluru.
The breach incident has come up soon after allegations against a Chinese company, Zhenhua Data Information for conducting covert surveillance on Indian citizens including the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and the Army Chiefs.
However, an expert committee has been formed by the government under the National Cyber Security Coordinator to investigate the allegations and the report will be submitted within 30 days.
When asked about China being involved in hacking these systems, The Print quoted a source as saying, "In the current scenario, it is a possibility which we will be looking into. We have registered a case and are investigating the same."
"It's definitely a security breach and we are looking at all angles," the source said.