It was an election year.
On the day of voting, many were watching TV and chatting on WhatsApp.
A few days later, they would receive an email that they had clicked on and clicked on again.
And once again, the same message was sent.
What was the message about?
It was from the Centre for Information Technology (CIT), an organisation that was supposed to help people understand the complex and sometimes scary world of technology.
But a few days before the vote, the company’s head office in Mumbai, which was responsible for the communication of technology in India, was hacked and the emails were posted on social media.
In the ensuing confusion, thousands of people clicked on the emails, and hundreds of thousands more downloaded the malicious software.
As the cyberattack spread across the country, many people were not aware of how to react to the emails or their origins.
But many were concerned, and those who were had to take a stand.
“We were not the only ones who were worried,” says Arvind Kumar, who is now a member of the CIT’s advisory board.
“Our entire organisation was worried.
We are the first government to be hacked.
And the country has a long history of security breaches, so we thought, why not take a proactive step to prevent cyber attacks?”
As the hacking spread across India, some people started to look at the emails from the ITs.
“There was a lot of panic in the organisation,” Kumar says.
“Everyone was thinking, this is fake, this has to be fake.
We should not trust anything they send.”
The group that started a hashtag #NoCyberHacks in support of the campaign was called #TheCyberVandal.
The hashtag was coined by Vikram Pandya, a software engineer, to help the group identify fake news.
In an email, Pandya explains how to spot the emails in a series of tweets.
The emails were a mix of technical jargon, images of tech devices, and even jokes.
“This was definitely not a genuine email,” says Kumar.
But Pandya was not alone in his analysis of the email’s authenticity.
Several other people were in on the joke.
“A lot of people have already figured out the joke and decided to use the same method to avoid the scam,” says Pandya.
“They were not really doing anything malicious.
This was not a scam.”
“The irony of the whole situation is that the country is going through such a difficult time right now,” says Ashish Kumar, a Delhi-based IT specialist.
“Many of us are seeing the corruption of technology companies.
Kumar, Pandy, and other IT experts were part of a group of activists who were organizing a protest in Mumbai on the eve of the election. “
I don’t think people should trust any email sent by anyone, because you are not getting any help from them,” Kumar adds.
Kumar, Pandy, and other IT experts were part of a group of activists who were organizing a protest in Mumbai on the eve of the election.
It was a day when the country was still reeling from the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the subsequent government shutdown.
A small group of people had been invited to join the protest, but they chose not to.
A group of journalists from a leading English-language newspaper, The Indian Express, went along with them and was also invited.
After about half an hour, the activists went to a park to watch a basketball match.
The protesters had started their demonstration outside a mall in the city, but when they got there, a group from a group called The CCT claimed that they were there to take pictures.
The protest was stopped by the security forces, and soon they were escorted to the nearest police station.
In fact, the protest was completely illegal.
The activists were taken into custody, but there were many who were allowed to leave.
They were not allowed to do any work for any company.
“It was like a political demonstration,” says Vijay Kumar, an IT consultant in Delhi.
“People were not able to do anything.”
But there were a few people who were able to escape the authorities, and they were all released after a few hours.
The media also reported on the protest.
The next day, the hashtag #TheCITsAmitaCindy trended on Twitter.
People were sharing their stories about the event and their experiences.
“The next day was a very important day for India,” Kumar remembers.
“Most people are angry and angry.
But we are still a country that is still evolving.
We need to be careful, especially at this stage in the election campaign.”
Kumar says that the CCTs actions are not necessarily illegal, but that it is important to watch for signs of hypocrisy in their statements.
“Some of them have been using technology to help them get elected,” he says.
The Indian government has been cracking down on social networking sites for years.
It has recently introduced an anti-money laundering law and created a central database of social media