Dec 11, 2016

What we know of the NDTV hacks so far

Here’s a cheatsheet on what we know so far about the latest Legion hacks which are targeted at senior journalists from NDTV.

BYRamarko Sengupta

A little after the midnight of Saturday, self-styled vigilante group Legion struck again, hacking into the Twitter accounts of prominent NDTV journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar.
Here’s a cheatsheet on what we know so far about the latest Legion hacks which are targeted at senior journalists from one of India’s biggest media brands.

    • Ravish Kumar has confirmed to FactorDaily that it was his official NDTV email that was linked to his Twitter, and not any personal email or gmail.

    • “If we aren’t safe, imagine what will happen to the common man. What can be worse than this. If all this so easy, it will become a game for some people. They will play with people’s security. Government should fix this. Who is challenging us with these acts? The government should understand, if after notes, people stop believing the net, where will the common man go,” Ravish Kumar told FactorDaily in Hindi.

    • He also said, “Whoever is doing this is also challenging the government.”

    • NDTV Convergence’s chief technical officer Kawaljit Singh Bedi told FactorDaily that the company’s email network is not hosted on Net4 India. However, the Delhi-based internet domain registrar and web hosting company, lists NDTV as one of its clients on its website. Bedi said, “We may have bought some domain from them sometime”.

    • We have reached out to Net4 India to understand their nature of engagement with NDTV. We had earlier reported that security researchers are probing if Legion could have broken into the accounts of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and fugitive Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya by exploiting security flaws on Net4. The company denied this.

    • But, we checked the DNS Records of both and Both websites were hosted on Net4 servers last we checked (5.30 pm, 10 December 2016). Mallya’s e-mail is hosted by Net4, according to MX records we checked. And Rahul Gandhi’s email is currently on Google apps.

    • Legion on Sunday morning said, “the 1.2GB dump of Barkha Dutt is a partial e-mail dump”, promising to upload the full data when they get time.

    • Barkha Dutt did not respond to calls and text messages for a comment on the hack.

    • NDTV said it’s asking relevant authorities, including courts, to take strong action against the hacks. It also said attempts being made to use emails out of context.

    • NDTV is yet to comment on whether its entire domain is compromised, or if it’s just individual accounts.

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Ramarko Sengupta is a writer of FactorDaily.