Hacktivism in India is catching up, so much so that it has become a significant threat to India due to its unique societal, ideological, and economic position in the subcontinent.
Several hacktivist groups, including OpIndia/OpIndia 2.0, Mysterious Team Bangladesh, Team_insane_pk, and others, have launched cyber-attacks against Indian entities, including the government and private companies.
“Hacktivism has begun to pose a considerable threat to India due to its unique societal, ideological, and economic position in the continent,” said an analysis of the situation by Cyble Research & Intelligence Labs (CRIL).
The ongoing commotion, OpIndia/OpIndia 2.0, by several hacktivists and the response of pro-Indian hacktivists has escalated the situation, with businesses and governments caught in the middle of Peter Panners.
These campaigns are incited due to negative sentiments promulgated through religion-toned campaign words from within the country. The ongoing commotion between these groups and pro-Indian hacktivists has caught businesses and governments in the middle.
Hacktivism in India: Operations against Nations
In the name of hacktivism in India and other countries, several operations have begun and led to the severing of systems and ties between nations with DDoS and ransomware attacks. Some of the campaigns observed were OpIndia, OpIndia 2.0, OpsPatuk, Operation Payback, and OpIsrael among others.
According to reports, the hacktivists were found to be as young as 20 to 25 years old and were still in college. This creates suspicion over the hiring of hackers via a chain that stealthily connects with young individuals looking to make quick money.
Cyble Research and Intelligence Labs noted in its blog that while some of these campaigns were launched in the name of religious intolerance, others were politically motivated. An anti-India Campaign by the Anonymous Sudan hacker group targeted other nations including Sweden, Australia, France, and the Netherlands before attacking India.
The group later targeted Indian websites alleging Islamophobic actions on their part. Hacktivism in India and in other countries needs to be deterred by authorities.
In another instance, OpAbabeel was observed in the hands of the Tiger Cyber Crew, Khalifa Cyber Crew, and 4-Exploitation hacktivist group. The campaign was launched to target Indians for Indian hacktivists leaking the data of the Muslim community.
Indonesian hacker groups VulzSec and Hacktivist of Garuda launched the OpIndia2.0 campaign in April 20, 2023, to avenge the attacks on Indonesian government websites allegedly by Indian hackers.
Hacktivism in India: A twist in the tale
Cybercriminals displayed forgiveness after efforts to resolve the conflict between hackers in India and other countries were made.
The VulzSecTeam decided to stop OpIndia 2.0 campaign against India when Kerala Cyber Xtractors from India approached the former to bury the hatchets.
The Telegram communications between the two warring groups conveyed that they agreed to move on because the conflict was a result of some people whose actions were misunderstood to be a cohesive action by an entire nation. VulzSecTeam in response to the message apologized for their actions and declared the ‘Stop Operation India.’
Hacktivism in India: The roots
Hacktivism in India often goes back to the negative sentiments propagated by staunch believers and extremists who work their way to young minds who are also in need of a channel to express and be someone. With a DDoS attack, a sum is paid which makes the job easier, except for a few security measures are taken.
Islam, Hinduism, government actions, and alleged opposition to set values instigate religious groups to take actions ‘to show who they are and what they can do.’ Such instances of infiltration convey amateur ideologies that rely on instant news from sources that may not be vetted or genuine.
It is imperative for governments to keep a tab on media that withholds news on their platform that can be misleading and cause further catastrophic consequences.