National cybersecurity branded ‘incompetent’ and ‘unpleasant’ by government after FBR database attack


The term “unpleasant” was used by the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications during a meeting convened to brief members of the committee on the functioning of Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Although the reason for the damning statement was not specified by anyone, the recent event in which the national database which contained information on all taxpayers was attacked could be the motivation behind the assessment.

The results of the meeting were shared on the official page of the National Assembly and the declaration was published;

“The Committee expressed its dissatisfaction with the performance of certain services of the Ministry, in particular the performance of the Cyber ​​​​Security Cell. The committee ordered the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications to remedy the incompetence of the cybersecurity cell.

Last month, FBR’s taxpayer database was hacked and hackers successfully cracked Microsoft’s hyper-V software, bringing down all official websites operated by tax machinery. FBR ceased its services for 48 hours after the event;

“Stakeholders, who benefit from the services of the data center, are informed that there have been unforeseen anomalies during the migration process, which have resulted in the unavailability of services, since the early hours of last night. FBR team ensures the restoration of services as soon as possible

to minimize downtime. This activity should be completed within the next 48 hours.

Pakistan’s telecommunications sector also came under criticism at the meeting for failing to provide expected service in flood-affected areas. Although various telecommunications companies have announced that they will provide the best or even free services in the flood-affected areas in case of emergency due to heavy rains and disturbed weather conditions, they have not acted accordingly.

(Also read: Jazz users receive free On-Net and PTCL calls in flood-affected areas of Balochistan )

“The Committee also expressed its dissatisfaction on the issues of telecommunication services in the areas affected by the floods.”

To improve the services provided by telecoms in these isolated areas affected by the floods, a committee of 5 members was formed.

“The committee has appointed a sub-committee under the leadership of Syed Mehmood Shah, MNA to discuss and suggest measures for improving telecommunication services in remote areas of the country. The other members of the committee will be Mr. Mahesh Kumar Malani, Ms. Aysha Rajab Ali, Ms. Javairia Zafar Aheer and Ms. Naz Baloch, MPs.

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