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Scammers found planting online betting ads on Indian government websites | TechCrunch

Scammers found planting online betting ads on Indian government websites | TechCrunch

Some Indian government websites have allowed fraudsters to place advertisements that are capable of sending visitors to online betting platforms.

TechCrunch discovered links to nearly four dozen “gov.in” websites linked to Indian states including Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram and Telangana that were redirecting to online betting platforms. Some of these websites belong to the State Police and Property Tax Departments in the respective states. Scam links were indexed by search engines, including Google, making the ads easy to find online.

The redirecting websites, which are called “Asia's most popular” online betting platform and “India's number one online cricket betting app”, claim that betting on games including cricket tournaments like the Indian Premier League is allowed.

It is not clear how the fraudsters placed the ads on Indian government pages or for how long the links had been redirecting to online betting platforms.

Image credit: Google/TechCrunch

After spotting the issue earlier this week, TechCrunch alerted India's Computer Emergency Response Team, known as CERT-In, of the error and provided links to some of the affected state government websites for reference. provided

Shortly thereafter, the Indian cyber agency acknowledged receipt of the email, and on Thursday CERT-In confirmed that it had escalated the matter.

“We have taken appropriate action with the concerned authority. It is not clear whether the loophole allowing backdoor access to state government websites has been fixed,” the agency said in an email reply.

Last June, TechCrunch reported that scammers Advertisements for hacking services were posted on US government websites. Due to a security flaw in the government's Web Content Management System software. Some of these ads appear to be available online for years.

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