ICREW Hackers Take Down University of Swabi’s Official Website, again

ICREW Hackers

An Indian hacking group that goes by the name, ICREW Hackers, appears to be in a full-blown online war with Pakistan. Led by “H45H_C47”, the group has once again hacked the website of the University of Swabi, a University in Ambar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. This was the second attack in a week, as the official website now remains in the hands of the ICREW hackers. The process by which the hack was achieved hasn’t been known yet.

Over time, the ICREW hackers have emerged as a revenge platform for India. The group’s Facebook page identifies it to be a Kerala-based Indian hacktivist organisation that was formed in 2018. It has been related to the Indian Cyber Research and Empower Wing ever since. The Indian hacker group also has its own YouTube page, where it has posted several videos, claiming to have hacked Pakistani sites.

The University of Swabi has established itself as one of the leading seats of Higher Education in Pakistan. The breach by the Indian hackers was condemned by the Pakistani officials, who claim to have lost all their access to the website, the students and the faculty. They even asked for a permanent solution for all the chaos as the routine had disturbed the management of the institution.

The Pakistani institutions have been forced to witness online war from time to time. Days after the vile attack on India’s CRPF soldiers in Pulwama in February 2019, the ICREW group hacked several websites of the Pakistani government. The cyberattack was dedicated to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Pulwama attack. The attackers also left a message, “We will never forget #14/02/2019.”

Pakistani Newspaper, Dawn, further confirmed the hacking reports. It claimed that the users from several countries – Australia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Britain, were not able to access the websites of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry and Army.

Meanwhile, the recent hack of Swabi website has been termed as the second highest-profile attack on the institutions of Pakistan.  The first one being the Russian hackers’ attack on Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) network access in November 2020, wherein the former even put the PIA database for sale on the dark web. Through the University website hack, the ICREW hackers aimed to take revenge from Pakistani hacking groups that have rigorously pursued to take down the Indian sites.

Some reports from 2020 stated that ICREW hackers also hacked the website of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) in May. It was considered one of the biggest hacks by the Indian group since both the sides engaged in a hacking war. One could easily interpret this as an extension of the escalating border disputes between Nepal and India.

The Nepali hackers, Brahma and Satan, were involved in the hacking of Indian sites, while the Indian hacker identified as GHO57_5P3C706 was involved in the hacking of Nepali sites. Post the hacking of CAAN, the hacker placed an Indian flag on the Nepali site and left a message stating, “Feel the power of Indian hackers. Just because we are silent and we don’t react doesn’t mean didn’t notice.”

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