Game of Hacks: Hackers from both sides of border engage in a 'tech-war'

KATHMANDU: Days after 'war of statements' between the governments of Nepal and India over Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura made headlines across both sides of the border, an interesting phenomenon has surfaced since Thursday - an all out 'Game of Hacks'.

Hackers from across both sides of the border are engaging in a dual where government-owned sites are being owned by each side, with their peculiar message for the other country.

Indian hackers, on Thursday, hacked Nepali government websites and posted their messages asking Nepal to back off. A government website operated by the Nepal National Library was hacked and defaced by a hacker. Those trying to access the website on May 21 were shown a black page with a message in green from the hacker who calls himself Shamharoosh. It warned that the hack was only “the beginning of the game”. Similarly, prior to this, a website of the botanical research centre in Banke was hacked by "Indian Cyber Troops" that left the message "Don't mess with Indians".

Nepali hackers in response owned some Indian websites leaving their print for their 'counterparts' to see. Nepali hackers 'Brahma' and 'Satan' responded by publicly displaying various information of Indian websites, especially targeting Indian media outlets such as ABP news.

This incident succeeds the great territorial debate on social media over India-Nepal border dispute. On Wednesday, an Indian news channel, Republic TV, hosted by Arnab Goswami invited Nepali public personalities on their show for debate on the ongoing disputes. However, the host and speakers engaged in a blame game rather than sticking to the issue on hand. Social networking sites soon erupted with opinions of people on both sides, with their criticisms, offences and defences.

The hacking episode is a 'war' being fought at another tier as every actor in this issue carries on with their own roles -- the governments with diplomatic mullings, media with their findings and reports, people with their opinions, and hackers, by default, with hacking.