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Islamabad Safe City’s online system shut down after hacking attempt – Pakistan | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Safe City Authority’s online system was knocked down by hacker(s) leading to its shut down, police officers privy to the development told Dawn on Saturday.

They said the hacker(s) attacked the system two days ago and since then it was shut down.

The hacker(s) entered the main server of the system on Thursday and then the server having data and record of criminals, they said. Some servers, including that of Complaint Management System, Criminal Management Record System, Human Resources Management System and the ones operating software and applications for the Operation Division were shut down immediately.

The firewall of the system issues an alert in case of any trespassing into any server. There was no alternate arrangement or any backup server to make the software and applications operational, so they were shut down, said the officers.

Later, the IT department of the authority closed all the logins to the software and applications, the officers said. Through the login, officials get access to different servers and make the software and applications operational.

Authority’s IT department closes logins to software and applications, say officers

Another officer added that it was not a typical hacking or someone stole the login IDs and passwords of the software and applications.

The officers said the login IDs and passwords for software and applications were exposed as officials and officers used simple and common IDs and passwords which made the system vulnerable to hacking and trespassing. Besides, most of the software and applications were outdated and their licences had expired years ago.

Mobile application, records of smart police vehicles, police stations, video analectic, Islamabad Traffic Police, e-challan, record of the operations division and data on criminals and 13 to 15 servers provided by police facilitation centre F-6 are liked with the servers of the authority.

The Safe City cameras management system has independent direct lines which are offline. It is impossible to penetrate the system or hack it until the hacker or trespasser has an ID or password used by the officials.

When contacted, police spokesman Taqi Jawad confirmed the attack by hacker(s) on the Safe City Authority. He said it was an attempt and the firewall issued an alert after which all logins to the servers were closed as a precautionary measure.

“All the logins were closed for the last two days to change them, including the login of the police stations, police officers, including ASPs/DSPs, SPs, SSPs and DIGs,” the PRO said.

When asked if the servers, including software and applications, were shut down, he said it was a technical question and he will reply after getting feedback from the officers concerned.

Mr Jawad was approached several times till filing of this report at 9pm, but every time he said the officers concerned were busy in meetings.

Head of the Safe City Islamabad Authority SSP Shoaib Khan could not be contacted for comments.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2024

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