PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian group of hackers has reportedly hacked into several Indian government websites over derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad made by two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officials.
The group, known as DragonForce Malaysia, launched cyberattacks on the websites of the Indian embassy in Israel, India’s National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, among others.
The Times of India reported that 70 websites were hacked by the group, including private sites as well as educational institutions such as Nagpur’s Institute of Science.
It reported that there were also attempts to hack the website of a prominent bank.
The group also called on other Muslim hackers as well as human rights organisations to initiate a campaign against India over the offensive remarks made by the officials of BJP, the ruling government party in the country.
The New Indian Express reported that Indian police had launched an investigation into the hackings.
The two BJP officials who made the offensive remarks regarding Islam and the Prophet have been suspended or expelled, while India’s high commissioner to Malaysia said their comments did not reflect the Indian government’s views.
The high commissioner was summoned to Putrajaya by the foreign ministry last week over the incident.
The Indian government has faced a strong backlash from the Muslim world, including from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, the Maldives, Bahrain, Turkiye as well as Malaysia.
Qatar had asked for an apology from the government over the comments.
DragonForce Malaysia had drawn attention last year after it allegedly stole and leaked the personal information of nearly 300,000 Israeli students from AcadeMe, one of Israel’s largest recruitment networks for students and graduates.
The group had called the operation “#OpsBedil 2.0” and called for “hackers, human rights organisations and activists” to unite and start a campaign against Israel.
DragonForce Malaysia had said the leak was linked to Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
The group also reportedly hacked into various Israeli CCTV networks, including residences and government agencies, last month.