The phishing attempts on government institutions have increased significantly in the past few months, including a major attack on the Federal Board of Revenue. Now, in another recent cyberattack, official emails of senior officers of the Ministry of Finance have been hacked. Consequently, official emails of the Ministry of Finance regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Financial Action Task Force (FATF), China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and other government institutions have ostensibly been hacked.
Official Data of Ministry of Finance Gets Hacked in a Recent Phishing Attack
Furthermore, in a shocking move, the hacker blatantly posted a video teaser of the hacked emails, along with email addresses, and their subjects. ProPakistani had accessed the file shared by the hackers which include a preview of contents, their senders, receivers, and the subjects of 2500+ emails. According to the source, these emails were used to communicate with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, Credit Suisse, and dozens of other national and international monetary institutions.
If we scrutinize the past record of the hackers, we can say that the contents of the hacked emails would be shared with anti-state entities with a primary motive of sabotaging Pakistan’s national security.
However, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, Muzammil Aslam, initially denied to comment regarding the phishing attempt but later ashamedly repudiated that no official emails have been hacked and claimed that officials are in safe hands.
On the other hand, according to a strategic analyst Zaki Khalid,
The hacker is a known cyber mercenary and has routinely breached sensitive data held in official systems. This latest incident was announced by the malign actor in a Telegram group.
Moreover, the hackers proclaim that the hacked email account belongs to a Joint Secretary of the federal government. However, Zaki assumes that this claim requires to be independently verified via the detailed technical audit of systems and networks in the federal government.
Also, it is pertinent to mention here that most of the finance ministry officials use their personal emails to intercommunication with entities, which implies that perhaps the abovementioned phishing attempt isn’t that of an official email ID but of a personal one.