An increasing number of government department websites get hacked every year, according to data obtained from the Department of Information Technology.

A total of 39 websites belonging to central government ministries and state governments were hacked in the first two months of this year.

The number does not include data for government-linked sites, such as those of special projects, government-owned companies and autonomous and sem-autonomous bodies.

The trend has shown a consistent increase over the years.

In 2014, a total of 155 government websites were hacked. In 2015, the number rose to 164. Last year, it was 199 last year. This year, the number could reach 250 at current rates.

Most of the government websites are handled by National Informatics Center.

Hacking of government websites is often carried out by hobbyists or zealots from rival countries. Sometimes, websites are hacked to get sensitive information, but mostly just to deface and cause embarrassment to the government.

COMPUTER CRIME

India has one of the most drastic information technology laws among democratic countries in the world.

A total of 8,121 persons were put behind bars in 2015 for crimes involving computer as the target or medium. In the previous year, another 5,752 people were arrested and 3,301 in the year before that.

The highest number of cyber crimes are reported from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

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