Private companies Providing Internet Service to Govt Institutions is the Biggest Cyber Threat to Pakistan

The websites of those government institutions, which are hosted by private sectors due to fewer charges compared to National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) are being targeted and hacked. It is the Biggest Cyber Threat to Pakistan.

Biggest Cyber Threat to Pakistan

This was revealed by Managing Director (MD) NTC Brig ® Viqar Rashid Khan as well as other senior officials while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication. The committee met with Rubina Khalid in the chair here on Thursday briefing was given on NTC functioning, achievements and future roadmap.

Government Website Hosted By Private Companies are Hacked

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has allowed private companies to provide internet services to government institutions, which is one of the biggest cyber threats in the country.

Since Pulwama incident 50 million attacks were reported on NTC data system, but due to foolproof arrangements of five layers, data remained safe.

50 Millions of Attacks are Reported by NTC

MD informed the committee that taking internet services by government institutions from the private service provider is one of the biggest cyber threats. Further, the websites of those government institutions are being hacked, the data of which are being hosted by private companies. Replying to a question NTC official said that NTC is charging more than private companies for data hosting, but NTC is providing foolproof security which private companies lack.

Sub Marine Cable is Asset of Pakistan

MD NTC also raised questions over the submarine cables under the control of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). He said that sub-marine cable is the asset of Pakistan which is being held by PTCL—took over by Dubai based Etisalat after privatization. Khan said that sub-marine cable should have been handed over to NTC at the time of PTCL privatization.

He further said that NTC has planned to lay marine cable along China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the coastal highway.

NTC officials informed that with a cost of Rs 450 million data centre was established in 2016, which has five-layer security arrangements. During the last three years, data centre generated Rs 419 million incomes. He further said that third-party security audit of the data centre was conducted.

Kamyab Jawan Program:

The portal of Kamyab Jawan program is being hosted by NTC, which is visited by 10.6 million people during the last one week and 0.3 million people applied for the scheme. Around 18 million cyber-attacks were made on the portal mostly from India but data remained safe.

As per the ACT, the mandate of NTC is to provide telecom services to government departments including defence forces whereas PTCL to provide telecom services in the private sector.

MD NTC also raised questions over the submarine cables under the control of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). He said that submarine cable is the asset of Pakistan which is being held by PTCL—took over by Dubai based Etisalat after privatization. Khan said that submarine cable should have been handed over to NTC at the time of PTCL privatization.

He further said that NTC has planned to lay marine cable along China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the coastal highway.

NTC officials informed that with a cost of Rs 450 million data centre was established in 2016, which has five-layer security arrangements. During the last three years, data centre generated Rs 419 million incomes. He further said that third-party security audit of the data centre was conducted.

Also Read: NTC Should Start a Campaign for the Recovery of its Dues: Federal Secretary of MoITT

Fizza Atique

Fizza Atique is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and culture. She likes photography, VR, electronic music, coffee, and baking.
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