How I accidentally “hacked” India’s Ministry of Defence

By John, 7 April, 2018
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Screenshot of the mod.gov.in website showing the Chinese character for Zen with the title "Ministry of Defence" and this error message: "The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later."

So…how many Drupal people know the reason why officials were afraid the Indian Ministry of Defence website was hacked by the Chinese? 😂

From the Ministry of Defence website hacked, Chinese characters spark cyberattack speculation article on the India news site, Zee News:

Ministry of Defence website hacked, Chinese characters spark cyberattack speculation

However, the hit didn't come with the usual owning of responsibility by a group of hackers.

The website of the Ministry of Defence was hacked on Friday evening. The mod.gov.in website displayed an error message and carried what seemed to be some Chinese characters on top, sparking speculation of a cyberattack from the northern neighbour.

I’ve been the maintainer of Drupal’s Zen theme since 2007 and I created its logo and most of the graphics used by the theme. What's important to the Ministry of Defence is that you can create a custom offline maintenance page for your Zen sub-theme to show any message or design you want. If you don’t create a custom maintenance page, then when the site is offline, it uses Zen’s default white maintenance page and its default logo, the Chinese character for “zen”.

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Screenshot of Drupal.org showing the Zen project homepage with its Chinese character for "zen"

So…it’s my fault that the India Ministry of Defence shows a Chinese character at the top of its website.

Oops.

Topics: Drupal, Zen

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