Web hacking in Pakistan on the up
(Flare (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The trend of hacking of websites of different organsiations especially banking sector continue in Pakistan. Hackers are becoming ever more sophisticated operating within a very close-knit web hacking community. In the last three years, hundreds of websites, storing critical and sensitive data concerning national security, have been hacked by cyber criminals, exposing the gaps in the country's cyber security mechanism.
The past few years have seen a disturbing trend. Since 2009, a large number of government websites have been breached into and what is worrying for is that the number is increasing with each passing year. Almost daily we read about a new hacker attack where web pages from reputable sites are infected with malicious code. These cyber attacks turn the hacked websites into launch sites for hacking attacks that install malware on the computers of those who visit them.
There is a need for strengthening laws and have a better international understanding. Hacking of official networks can have a direct bearing on critical cyber infrastructure. We need to upgrade our skills to protect our sovereign interests in the cyber space. With the threat of cyber attacks looming large, the government is taking steps towards achieving a strong mechanism to counter cyber terrorism.
Recent hacking attempts have annoyed not only banks but every affected organization and they think that due to the absence of cyber laws in our country, they are roaming free and using their knowledge illegally. Law enforcement agencies are not able to stop these criminals and even they cannot track them down. The hackers come, deface the pages, hack the data and walk away freely without any fear. Recent attempts on banks make one believe that online system of banking is not secure. Their servers are not secure. Habib Bank, Soneri Bank and now Allied Bank is very alarming.
Financial records and transactions are at a huge risk and this matter should be taken seriously because if the customers believe in online banking flies away, it will be hard to convince them and banking sector will be doomed. Therefore it is quite obvious that this matter should be taken serious and servers should be made as secure as possible.
Majority of Pakistani banks allow internet banking now and the trend is growing at a rapid pace. Such activities can destroy this growing sector of business for banks and as a result the whole financial machinery of the country can be badly affected. Banking sector is what forms the infrastructure for the economy and destruction of this sector can put our country on back-foot which is already facing hard economic conditions.
One of the leading Pakistani entertainment TV channel has been hacked by a Pakistani Hacker MadCode Haxor. According to the message displayed over the defaced website, “It’s just a security reminder that your website is vulnerable”. Tameer Bank, which is majorly owned and operated by Telenor Pakistan, was hacked by Xploiter, the same hacker who has hacked and defaced over 4 banks in just a few days.
This hacking spree over the last few days has hit almost all major banks of Pakistan. And the message has been quite clear: Secure the websites and infrastructure. It merits mentioning here that EasyPaisa, one of the largest branch-less banking solution in the world, is jointly operated by Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Bank.
Exploiter once again emphasized the lack of security that resulted into all these hacks. While defacing the homepage of Tameer bank, hacker left following message: It appears that Pakistan hackers are on fire, and they have decided not to leave any bank. This time it is Muslim Commercial Bank or MCB.
With apparent slogan of defacing Banking websites, hackers claim to be with the aim of securing Pakistani cyber space. They maintain that banks were previously warned about all the security flaws but since banks’ staff don’t seem to be serious with the warnings and hence hackers have no point but to deface their websites.
Recently, an inner page of Muslim Commercial Bank was defaced by two hackers who want to be called as Dr.Freak and Xploiter. We suspect – due to the names used – that this is the same group who had recently carried out defacements of HBL and ABL. However, the tone and feel of the message left on MCB’s defaced page doesn’t resemble with previous messages.
It maybe recalled that earlier this month, official websites of Habib Bank and Allied Bank were hacked and defaced. Earlier on, Soneri Bank and Burj Bank were also attacked and defaced by hackers. The law maker of Pakistan should not enjoy high perks but to come forward and make some crucial legislation to define cyber crime and punishments for violators.
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