Bangladesh vs India Cyber-War 2012
The Bangladesh-India cyber-war refers to the back-and-forth hacking activities on the Internet that took place in early 2012 AD. Although such a cyber-war incident occurred in Estonia in 2007 such incidents between the two countries are not straightforward. The incident between Bangladesh and India originally started on January 9 and 10, 2012, centered on the naked torture of a Bangladeshi by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) who was stripped on the Indian border. But this was not the only reason, in fact, the simultaneous border killings and the decision to build the Tipaimukh Dam by the Indian government also fueled this cyber-warfare.
Three Bangladeshi hacker groups, identified as Bangladesh Black Hat Hackers, Bangladesh Cyber Army, and Expire Cyber Army, have claimed to be involved in the cyber attack. They also mention their involvement with the globally known hacker group Anonymous. It is also said in the media that hackers from Pakistan, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia are supporting Bangladeshi hackers. However, they later admitted their mistake and claimed the information was the brainchild of overzealous fans.
However, experts believe that the main purpose of this cyber-war is to spread the news about the killing of Bangladeshis on the Indian border. At the same time, Indian hacker groups also counter-attacked this attack, led by the hacker group called IndiShell. Along with these, the Indian Cyber Army also announced its involvement.
A man named Habibur Rahman of Atroshia village of Shibganj Upazila of Chapainawabganj was suspected of smuggling cows on the Indian border. BSF tied his hands and clothes feet, stripped him, and beat him mercilessly with rifle butts and sticks. According to Habibur Rahman’s account, BSF personnel from the Maurusi border post in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district arrested him on December 9. At that time, the BSF soldiers demanded two thousand taka, five flashlights, and a mobile phone from him. But as he could not give them, the BSF members tied him up all night after torture. The next day, December 10, around 4 in the morning, they tortured again. The BSF soldiers tore off his lungi, cut it in two and tied his hands with sticks, and started beating him in the second round. The seven people him with rifle butts and sticks all over his body including his private parts. If he loses consciousness at this time, he is tied and left in a mustard field near the border. An 11-minute video of this incident was made on a mobile phone and uploaded on YouTube. It caused an extreme response among Bangladeshis. Even various Indian human rights organizations became vocal against it. And the hacker groups of Bangladesh got angry at this incident and decided to cyber-attack against such brutality in India. As a trial of this incident, 7 constables have been sentenced to 89 days in jail in a secret court of BSF. The Commander Head Constable involved in the incident has been demoted to General Constable. However, he was not sentenced to prison. This cyber-war continues with this judgment, as many did not find this judgment fair. Even the Indian human rights organization MASUM did not consider this trial sufficient.
When this incident of border torture was at the height of discussion, BGB Habildar Lutfar Rahman who was on patrol was abducted from the border of Dalkuia village of Goliara Union of South Upazila of Comilla on January 20. On January 21, he was returned to the injured BGB member. Just 2 hours later, a Bangladeshi named Rashedul was killed and 3 others were injured in BSF firing at the Dhanyakhola border in Sharsha Upazila of Jashore. These incidents of border torture and killings are reminiscent of many past tortures and border killings. According to the news published in the media, more than 1000 Bangladeshis have been killed by the BSF in the last 10 years. Among them, 94 people were killed in 2001, 105 people in 2002, 43 people in 2003, 76 people in 2004, 104 people in 2005, 146 people in 2006, 120 people in 2007, and 62 people in 2008. According to Human Rights Organizations Human Rights Report-2011, 203 Bangladeshi citizens were killed by the BSF during the three years 2009–2011. Among them, 98 people in 2009, 74 people in 2010, and 31 people including 15-year-old girl Felani in 2011. At the same time, 987 people were fatally injured in BSF attacks, at least 1,000 were abducted, and over 200 people went missing. In the report of the human rights organization on border killings, it is also mentioned that unarmed men and women, and children are either being shot dead or injured by torture by the BSF. Even the BSF is infiltrating the Bangladesh border and killing the farmers working on the agricultural land. On January 7, 2011, a girl named Felani (15) was shot dead by the BSF while returning from India to Bangladesh near the 947 international border pillar of Anantapur border in Phulbari upazila of Kurigram district and was taken to India after keeping her body hanging on barbed wire for five hours.
By publishing these statistics, the past is brought up, along with the issue of Titus River and Tipaimukh Dam. And this cyber-war is settled in the wake of that.
Since Bangladeshis are persecuted by India, it is believed that Bangladeshi hackers are the ones who initiate attacks on Indian websites, even as it is first reported in the media. On the night of February 10, 2012, a massive attack was launched by Bangladesh. Indian websites were first hacked by attacking the Maharashtra Police website.
But the Bangladeshi hacker group later claimed that Indian hackers initiated this cyber-war and that this counter-attack by Bangladeshi hackers was the answer. Bangladeshi hackers hacked the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) website in the initial phase of the attack, rendering it completely inoperable. Later on February 12, Bangladeshi hackers also attacked BSF’s alternative website (www.bsf.nic.in) and exposed its source code. They also attacked various government websites in India. In addition to this attack, hackers continue to detail their activities on their Facebook pages and various blog websites and publish the addresses of hacked websites. On 9 February 2012, Bangladeshi black hat hackers published a video against the Indian government on the popular video-sharing website YouTube. In the video, a man wearing a mask and a black robe is seen sitting across the table with a piece of paper in his hand. His words are heard on the machine. The pattern of the mask perfectly matches that of Anonymous. The speech given by the masked man was:
Hello Bangladeshi citizens, we are Bangladesh Black Hat Hackers. Now is the time to open our eyes. BSF killed more than 1000 Bangladeshi citizens, injured 987 more Bangladeshis in their firing. Thousands of people have been kidnapped. It is a crime against humanity. They are doing injustice. At this critical moment we as Bangladeshi citizens have some sense of responsibility, we want the Indian government to stop killing innocent Bangladeshis. Or we will start cyber-war against Indians. It will continue.
In this continuation, various websites of Bangladesh started to be hacked in protest against the continuous cyber attacks of Bangladeshi hackers, some government websites of Bangladesh were also included in this list. According to media reports, the Indian hacker group Indishell removed Bangladeshi hackers from many Indian websites. Indiashell threatened to crash Bangladeshi websites if attacks on Indian sites were not stopped by Sunday night.
On February 13, 2012, the news of some such website hacks in Bangladesh was published on BBC Bangla. However, to respond to such attacks, on February 14, 2012, Bangladeshi hacker groups also hacked hundreds of Indian websites, according to BBC Bengal news. Bangladeshi media reported the involvement of a group of hackers called the Indian Cyber Army behind this hacking. By February 15, Bangladeshi media reported that more than 20,000 Indian websites were partially or completely destroyed by the attack.
As more Indian websites were hacked in this attack, Indian hackers adopted a different approach. According to the news, Indian hackers hacked various Bangladeshi websites and blamed Bangladeshi hackers. Referring to the website www.publiclibrary.gov.bd in the news, Indian hackers hacked the website and wrote: HackeD bY BD BLACK HAT TEAM. Although such news was printed in Bangladeshi news media, no such news was printed in Indian news media.
Apart from attacking Indian websites during the cyber war, Bangladeshi hackers also provide security advice for various Bangladeshi websites.
Official closing announcement
The Bangladesh-India cyber war has never officially ended as both sides agreed.