Sensitive info of state owned websites leaked? | Sri Lanka News

***Defence Ministry takes preventive action following prior intel

***However, MoD says CERT and Air Force Cyber Operations Centre alerted

*** Expert stresses importance of cohesive cyber security strategy

Sensitive information of two Sri Lankan state websites were claimed to have been leaked to a hacker forum last week, according to a cyber threat intelligence platform

On March 2, the announced on Twitter that the administrator access of Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence website has been released to a Hacker’s Forum for sale. Personally Identifiable Information (PIIs) such as names, phones and emails were among the data claimed to be on sale, through a data broker named Kelvin Security. Kelvin Security, which describes itself as a hacker group has a history of claiming data breaches in several countries including Colombia, Mexico and Chile.

When contacted by the Daily Mirror, Defence Ministry media spokesperson Colonel Nalin Herath denied the report stating no data has been compromised as flagged by the intelligence platform, adding that no data has been made available for sale.

“There was an alert initially we got that the Ministry of Defence website was going to be hacked. But there was no such incident,” the Ministry Spokesperson said. “We were alerted by the United States Embassy. Based on that we took some extraordinary precautions and because of that we could prevent a breach,” he said. The US Embassy warning came a day prior to the incident, he said. “Nothing happened. There was no breach. We adopted certain precautions. But we did not experience an attack or anything,” Herath said.

Asked of the precautionary measures taken related to this incident, Herath said the Ministry worked with the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) as well as the Air Force Cyber Operations Centre to look into the issue.

However sources told Daily Mirror that CERT had not been immediately notified of the alleged breach. “We haven't got any request asking for any assistance in this regard,” a spokesperson for CERT said.

Prior to the alleged Defence Ministry data breach, on February 25 had also claimed that '32 admin information' from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka website were leaked. The tweet also contained an image suggesting that the Central Bank’s Twitter handle was also compromised.

The Daily Mirror spoke to several officials at the Central Bank who said there has been no data breach reported. “I think you are referring to the tweet. There was no data breach as such,” an officer who wished to remain anonymous said. Asked if there is an investigation into the incident with other parties, he said “Along with our service provider, we investigated the claim. But we didn’t find any data breach.”

When the Daily Mirror spoke to the Financial Sector Computer Security Incident Response Team (FinCSIRT) Manager Kanishka Ratnayake he said there only appeared to a security incident with the Central Bank’s Twitter account. “As per my understanding the Central Bank website was not hacked. It was their twitter page. Asked if there is a team investigating the incident, “Mostly government organizations are handled by CERT,” he said.

The Daily Mirror also spoke to Cyber Security Specialist Asela Waidyalankara who stressed the need of a cohesive cyber security strategy for Sri Lanka, given the frequency of these events. “We really have to a coordinated national mechanism to monitor these developments on the dark web and other threat intelligence channels. In other countries there are tools, processes/procedures and people trained to look at these signals, pick it up and address it,” he said. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)

( Information from was used in this report. ALL RESPECT GOES TO ORIGINAL WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE. | Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

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