New Delhi: It has been a staggering 10 days that the official website of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is down. After being breached on March 5, the website has vanished ever since. Whenever anyone visits the website, they are greeted with only one message: "We’ll be back soon! Sorry for the inconvenience but we’re performing some maintenance at the moment. we’ll be back online shortly!"

Of course, it also flashes BJP with its electoral symbol, the lotus and its slogan. But nothing beyond this is visible in the website of 'World's largest political party'. 

Hacking or no hacking? BJP can't decide

While the IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad maintains it was a clear case of hacking, the BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya earlier maintained that it wasn't a case of hacking. Prasad said, "There are rogue elements in the society. The site was hacked only for a few minutes. We got back control very soon". However, Malviya earlier claimed, it was just a "minor transgression".

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When contacted by MyNation, Malviya said, "I still maintain it wasn't a hacking. Had it been so, data would be leaked and the hacker would claim responsibility. None of it happened." When asked about why it's taking so long for the website to be up and running, Malviya said it was of their choosing. Strange it may sound, but he claimed, "We have chosen not to revive it (so far)". 

When BJP website was breached...

On March 5, the BJP website was breached, which now is confirmed by none less than the IT minister, following which a meme appeared on the home screen saying, “Brothers and sisters, I've fooled all of you. Brothers and sisters, we’ve fooled all of you. More to come! Many, many congratulations!”

A GIF featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel were also popping out. Ever since, the website has been in a snooze mode. 

How long does it take to bounce back?

Eminent cybersecurity lawyer Pavan Duggal insists there is no golden rule on how much time does it take to bounce back to life. "It can take a couple of hours, it may also take months. Everything depends upon the extent of damage it has caused on the website. It also depends upon the kind of cyber landmines that are placed".

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But, Duggal argues, it's in the interest of any organisation to bounce back sooner to send a message. "It's called cyber resilience. But to be cyber resilient, you need to beef up your system and be aware of cybersecurity. That such a big political party has its website down for 10 days, speaks volumes," he said.

Hacking or 'minor transgression', the moot question remained, whodunnit?

The fact that the content posted on the BJP website homepage after breaching it, proves it's definitely an ideological adversary of the ruling party. Chances cannot be ruled out of a cross border attempt. But, as Duggal said, "The identification of attacker can only take place after an investigation. And an investigation can happen if an FIR is being lodged."

Malviya maintained, the question of filing an FIR with the cyber cell doesn't arise, since it's 'not a hacking'. But in terms of messaging, BJP digital blackout for 10 days in a row is probably the most undesirable thing that India's ruling party could think of.