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Maharashtra class X results: probe into cyber-attack of results websites

September 7, 2021
-Dipta Joshi

The Maharashtra education department has set up an inquiry to investigate the deliberate sabotaging of the class X Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Education (MSBSHSE) aka Secondary School Certificate (SSC) results earlier in July this year. Both the official websites displaying the results of over 16 lakh first time and repeat SSC exam candidates had crashed within minutes of the results being declared. The sites had registered 3.3 crore hits within the first hour itself.

The Maharashtra class X results declared on July 16 were to be available on and by 1 pm that day but crashed within minutes of the results being declared. While officials from the state’s education  board believed the servers crashed due to the overload of hits and expected to have the websites up and running within a few hours, for the vast majority of students, the results remained unavailable until late night.  

As anxious students and parents took to social media platforms to express their anger, the state’s education minister Varsha Gaikwad issued a video apology on Twitter. Blaming the inaccessibility and the inconvenience caused by a technical glitch, the minister ordered a full inquiry into the incident while warning, “Strict action will be taken against those responsible to ensure that such incidents don’t happen again.”

While the state’s education commissioner, Vishal Solanki who is leading the investigations preferred to hold back his comments until the inquiry is complete, a source working in close contact with the department officials says the department is probing the possibility of a cyber-attack too. “Investigations into the issue so far show the websites had 3.3 crore hits in the first hour itself which raised doubts of a deliberate attempt to crash the websites. With the total number of candidates being just 16.5 lakh, the 3.3 crore hit seems too far-fetched even if we consider that their parents and relatives also logged in separately on their behalf. Also the nature of the log-ins were similar to how a bot would use it,” says the source.

In view of the embarrassment caused to the department with respect to the SSC board results, the state’s education department ensured ease of operations when the class XII results were announced on August 3. Students were able to view and download their results through four official websites- and and

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