More than 400 Nepal government websites went down for hours on Saturday, disrupting services and inconveniencing thousands of passengers at Kathmandu airport, exposing the vulnerability to hacking of the gov.np domain.
Hackers appear to have targeted the government’s only central data bank at the Government Integrated Data Centre (GIDC) with a ‘Distributed-Denial of Service’ attack, possibly from abroad, and knocked out most government ministry websites, including the database of the Department of Immigration as well as Passports.
The attack began at noon on Saturday and lasted at least four hours. Since it was a holiday, government offices like the Department of Transport’s licensing department or the passport issuance office, were not affected. The greatest disruption was at the airport where chaotic queues began forming at the immigration desks both at the arrival and departure areas.
Many international flights, including those to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur and Doha were delayed by up to three hours. There were serpentine queues at the arrival concourse as the visa machines and consoles at the immigration desk went out of action.