FBR approaches information technology ministry over cyber-attack | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack | #education | #technology | #infosec

LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has approached Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MIT&T) to get its website restored which was attacked by hackers on the country’s Independence Day, Bol News has learnt.

Sources in the federal capital told Bol News that FBR has approached the MIT&T in writing to repair the damage done by the hackers. Sources further told that it was the worst ever cyber-attack on Pakistani systems due to which around a dozen key government departments including the FBR and Power Information Technology Company (PITC) were hit and damaged their data.

According to sources, MIT &T might also approach Microsoft to seek its help in repairing the damage caused by the attack.

A senior FBR official, seeking anonymity, told Bol News that since August 14, their entire activity has been put to halt and no payment could be made into government accounts because of the suspension of FBR’s online system. He said even after four days, website of the revenue collection body couldn’t be restored.

In response to a question, he said that though a press release had been issued by FBR on Monday stating that all applications having public interface have been operationalised and running smoothly but the online system was still not working.

Similarly, the source said, entire system of Customs at ports and airports has also been disrupted and damaged due to which import and export items couldn’t be cleared since the attack took place.

It may be relevant to mention that earlier, a cyber-attack had hit the country on August 13.

It is also been learnt that FBR and other affected departments might approach FIA for investigations into this massive hacking. So far, as per FIA officials, no complaint has been filed with them as yet.

“We will do whatever we can to identify, track and trace the hackers who have caused so much damage to our online systems of various departments but we don’t have any expertise in restoring anyone’s system including the FBR’s,” a senior FIA official commented when approached.

Another government official has also told Bol News that a high-level meeting was also held in Islamabad in which issues related to cybersecurity and recent cyber-attack came under discussion.

Bol News tried several times to reach Federal Minister for IT Syed Aminul Haque and Spokesman of the FBR Nadeem Hussain Rizvi for their comments on the latest developments but they didn’t respond till the filing if this report.

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