More than two weeks after it was hacked, the BJP website on Friday left its "maintenance" mode but only to display one static page with the party's first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections named on Thursday. The website of the ruling party had been placed under maintenance on March 5 after being hacked. People who had gained access to the site had replaced the content with a meme mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After denying a hack at first, the party later admitted the incident later. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on March 12 said that the BJP website was hacked "for a few minutes" but the party managed to get back control "very soon".
"After weeks of 'maintenance' the @BJP4India website is back... Well, it's not really the website, it's just 1 static page... That confirms what I said: following the hack, they lost everything and they did not have any backups," a French security researcher, who goes by the name of Elliot Alderson, tweeted.
Last week, sources in the BJP told NDTV that the party was using the opportunity to completely revamp the site which had not been upgraded in the last five years.
"The BJP website could have been brought back up in matter of hours. But we decided to use the bugging as an opportunity to complete a plan to revamp it. The plan had been in place for two to three months," party sources said.
They added that no compromising information was stolen from the site but another attacks were a "clear and present danger". The party is taking steps to prevent this and firewalls for all known cyberattacks have been put in place, sources said.
Until the candidates list was published, the message on site read: "We'll be back soon! Sorry for the inconvenience but we're performing some maintenance at the moment. We will be back online shortly!"