While the government is focused on dealing with political issues, corruption allegations and terrorism, a threat which has been ignored for quite some time seems to be rising rapidly.
Government websites are under regular attacks from hackers for the past few months. And recently, the Foreign Ministry has attracted the ire of hackers.
Foreign Ministry Under Cyber Attack
The Cyber Crime Bill has still not been approved (lets ignore the implications of the vague statements in the bill for now) and a cyber war against the government seems to be on the horizon.
The website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs is under constant cyber attacks. As a breaking news item revealed earlier today, the Foreign Office has informed the Senate Committee that its website is under continuous cyber attacks from unknown sources.
A similar event also took place last year when the Chinese President Xi Jinping was about to visit Pakistan. The computers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were hit with a cyber attack. Back then, the Foreign Office’s China desk was targeted. The event was alarming and the security agencies began investigating the cause behind it immediately.
Cyber Attacks On Government Departments
These sort of attacks are usually not publicly admitted. The reasons being that coordinated attacks against governments, corporations and military establishments have become pretty normal these days. The US seems to be blaming China, some cyber security firms are claiming the attacks are sponsored by Russia, while India and Pakistan continue to blame each other for all cyber attacks. For the most part, the allegations, for such attacks, against other countries can be justified by the attacked governments.
A US network security firm released a report last year claiming to have tracked down last year’s cyber attacks. It stated that Russia was behind phishing attacks in 26 countries including Pakistan.
IT experts have raised questions regarding the preparedness of our ISPs against such sophisticated cyber attacks. Telecom officials blame bad cyber security within departments and organisations leading to compromised systems.
It is utterly negligent on the government’s part for not having proper security mechanism against such attacks in place. We have seen several such hacks happen before but the government has shown little interest. The attacks even managed to affect confidential data pertaining to the Foreign Office. Some steps need to be taken by both, the network providers and the government, in order to ensure proper security for all government departments and the general public.