Pakistan’s Civil -Military Networks may Confront a cyber attack

Pakistan’s Civil and Military networks may confront a cyber attack from the hackers – says a report by the National Telecom & Information Technology Security Board (NTISB).Pakistani Civil & Military Networks May Face Cyber Attack

Recent wave of stealing the sensitive official data by US NSA has raised serious concerns warranting the implementation of all policies and guidelines in true letter and spirit, the Cabinet Division noted in a letter to all ministries, departments and divisions.

All the government departments, ministries, divisions have been directed to study and analyse the guidelines and implement the same for safeguarding their official data.

Below are the highlighted guidlines:

  • The government officials and officers have been directed to avoid using private emails for exchange of official correspondence.

  • Official data should not be stored/ copied on personal computers and laptops and personal USB, which are connected to internet

  • No official/ classified information should be placed on internet via any means.

  • Uploading of sensitive information on social media should be avoided.

  • Uploading of videos and photos of official meetings should be avoided.

  • Downloading of software from internet should be avoided.

  • internet connections must be obtained from National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) as per policy.

  • Official personal computers (PCs) having sensitive data must not be provided with internet connection.

  • Contents placed on official websites must be properly scrutinised and approved for uploading.

  • Internet usage in government departments be regulated and access be provided with limited user privileges.

  • Internet computers be isolated and the network security must be ensured and internet provision be controlled by the highest administrative authority in the ministry, division or department.

According to the guidelines, legal and regulatory framework at national level is also very important. Cyber crime and cyber security laws need to be enacted and enforced as laws are deterrent control to secure cyberspace and hence to protect national security.The Security Board noted that presence of sensitive/ official data on the web had made the government official entities hostage and vulnerable to hostile ingress and sudden access by unknown intelligent IT mafias, suspected hackers as well as individual secret agents.

It merits mentioning here that the misuse of this information fairly acquired from such an advanced information resource through multiple hacking techniques may invariably cause serious threats to national security.