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Over 20,000 attempts to hack crowd-funding site in past 2 days, claims Congress

Launched two days ago, Congress on Wednesday claimed its donation website encountered 20,400 cyber attacks attempting to steal data or slow the site down but managed to collect Rs 2.81 crore from over 1.13 lakh donors.

Sources said of the total 1,13,713 donors till 9 AM on Wednesday, only 32 donated more than Rs one lakh and it included party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot, Jairam Ramesh and Pawan Khera while 612 donated more than Rs 13,800.

The Congress launched the online crowdfunding drive on Monday with Kharge donating Rs 1.38 lakh.

Of the 2.81 crore, the maximum came from Maharashtra (Rs 56 lakh) followed by Rajasthan (Rs 26 lakh), Delhi (Rs 20 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 19 lakh) and Karnataka (Rs 18 lakh).

Speaking on the trend, a senior leader said while Maharashtra may top the list of quantum of donations, there were a large number of donors from Bihar though their contribution was on lesser denominations. “It shows a large number of people are willing to associate with us,” he said.

Sources said the donation handle saw 1.2 crore people visiting it in 48 hours but the “disturbing trend” was that there were 20,400 cyber attacks. Of this, they claimed, 1,340 were related to attempts to steal data from the site. The others are mainly related to slowing down the site.

They said they had anticipated such attacks and had built strong firewalls to prevent any attempts to compromise the sites.

An analysis of donations showed that 81 per cent donors preferred the UPI route to make the payment while 7.95 per cent used credit cards, 6.34 per cent debit cards, 4.78 per cent net banking and 0.02 per cent RTGS-NEFT.

Sources said party treasurer Ajay Maken has devised a three-prong strategy to attract funds in the first phase. Observers will be sent to states to train leaders before they start the door-to-door campaign on December 28.

At Congress rallies, sources said, QR codes will be displayed so that people coming for such programmes can donate. The party is also mulling collecting funds through merchandising where they could see T-shirts signed by leaders like Rahul Gandhi, customised caps and other items.

Sources said the donation drive also helps the party to connect with its supporters, as the data collected would be shared with state units who could reach out to them.

(Published 21 December 2023, 02:02 IST)

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