The websites of the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Law and Justice, and Ministry of Home Affairs were purportedly hacked on Friday. Chinese characters appeared on the home page of the defence ministry’s website. All three websites currently appear to be down.

Special Secretary for Cyber Security Gulshan Rai told NDTV that the websites are offline because of a hardware problem, not because they were hacked.

The National Informatics Centre also said that websites were not hacked, and that there was some “technical issue” since 2.30 pm on Friday. The site displayed the default logo.

However, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the ministry’s website had been hacked, and that they had initiated action to restore it. “Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken,” she said on Twitter.