The government has been urged to ban the use of WhatsApp and similar platforms for sharing official information
Indian hackers tried to gain access of cellular devices of senior Pakistani government and military officials, according to a statement issued by ISPR. The issue is currently under investigation and additional measures are taken to repel any further attacks.
“Various targets of hostile intelligence agencies are being investigated,” said the military’s media wing. “Pakistan Army has further enhanced necessary measures to thwart such activities including action against violators of standing operating procedures (SOPs) on cybersecurity,” added the statement.
A letter from the National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board, Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan has urged the government to ban sharing of official materials through Whatsapp and similar platforms since hostile intelligence agencies have developed the capabilities of hacking phones of the government officials.
“These spyware companies are using hacking softwares and applications such as ‘Chat Line’ and ‘Pegasus’ malware on WhatsApp account of target mobile phones (IOS and Android) to gain access to sensitive information stored on mobile phones. The malware is capable to infect any mobile phone (IOS and Android) only by generating missed call on target WhatsApp number,” the letter read.
It was also mentioned that military and government officials in many countries including Pakistan were targeted through an Israeli group which is now facing legal proceedings for violating U.S. laws.
“This “Pegasus” malware has infected approximately 1400 senior government and military officials in twenty countries including Pakistan. Hostile spyware companies such as Israel-based NSO Group have been sued by WhatsApp and Facebook in the US Court of San Francisco for violating both US and California laws as well as the WhatsApp Terms of Service.”
Attacks by Indian hackers on Pakistani official website is nothing new. Pakistani hackers too indulge in taking down official websites across the border. However, such targeted cyber-attacks are previously unheard of.