Hacking Attempt Forces Islamabad Safe City Authority Offline

On Saturday, police officials disclosed that the Islamabad Safe City Authority’s online system went offline following a hacking attempt. The incident occurred two days earlier, prompting the shutdown of the system, according to reports from Dawn.

On Thursday, hackers managed to infiltrate the primary server, gaining access to crucial data and records, especially those linked to criminal databases. As a countermeasure, authorities immediately deactivated servers overseeing the Complaint Management System, Criminal Management Record System, Human Resources Management System, and several other operational software and applications.

Despite having a firewall designed to alert authorities of unauthorized access attempts, officials revealed that there were no backup or alternative servers to maintain the functionality of the software and applications. This lack of redundancy necessitated their immediate shutdown.

Hacking Attempt Forces Islamabad Safe City Authority Offline

In response to the breach, the IT department disabled all logins to the software and applications, which serve as essential gateways to various servers and operational software. An officer emphasized that this breach was not a typical hacking incident but rather occurred because of exposed login credentials. Officials compromised these credentials by using simple and easily guessed passwords. Additionally, the system’s software and applications were outdated and had expired licenses, which further increased its vulnerability.

The impacted system encompasses a broad range of services, including mobile applications, records of smart police vehicles, data from police stations, video analytics, operations of the Islamabad Traffic Police, e-challan data, and criminal records. Despite the extensive reach of the compromised system, the Safe City camera management system operates on separate lines, ensuring its security. This system remains offline and impervious to penetration without valid credentials.

Police spokesperson Taqi Jawad confirmed the hacking attempt and explained that the firewall promptly issued an alert, leading to the precautionary measure of shutting down all logins. He noted that in the interest of security, all logins have remained disabled for the past forty-eight hours to facilitate the updating of credentials. This measure has temporarily affected access for numerous police personnel.

The hacking attempt highlights significant vulnerabilities within the Islamabad Safe City Authority’s online system

The incident underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures, including regular updates to software and applications, stronger password protocols, and the establishment of backup servers to ensure continuity in the face of cyber threats.

In the wake of the breach, it is crucial for the authorities to conduct a thorough review of their cybersecurity practices. Implementing stronger password policies and ensuring that software licenses are up-to-date can prevent future incidents. Additionally, investing in advanced security infrastructure, such as intrusion detection systems and backup servers, will enhance the resilience of critical systems against cyber-attacks.

Moving forward, the Islamabad Safe City Authority must prioritize cybersecurity to safeguard sensitive data and ensure the seamless operation of essential services. By addressing the identified vulnerabilities and strengthening their defences, they can better protect against future hacking attempts and maintain the integrity of their systems.

See Also: Pakistan-Linked Hackers Launch Cross-Platform Malware Attacks on Indian Targets

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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