Nadra’s data has been compromised, reveals FIA official

ISLAMABAD: In a startling revelation, an official of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) revealed on Thursday that the National Database and Registration Authority’s (Nadra) biometric data had been hacked while fake SIMs were also being exported.

During a briefing to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology & Telecommunication, FIA Cybercrime Wing Additional Director Tariq Pervez said, “Nadra’s data has been compromised, it has been hacked”.

Later, Pervez clarified his remarks, saying that all of Nadra’s data had not been hacked. “During the SIM verification process involving biometric data, it was revealed that Nadra’s biometric system was compromised,” he said, without providing further explanation.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) informed the committee that the authority has blocked 86,000 mobile devices that were found involved in fraudulent activities.

The committee meeting was chaired by Ali Khan Jadoon, MNA.

PTA Chairman Major General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa informed the committee: “Blocking of SIMs involved in frauds is a less plenty to the elements looting the peoples. In order to cause them a financial damage, the authority has blocked about 86,000 mobile devices during last one year.”

From November 2020 to November 2021, the chairman said about 600 percent decrease has been witnessed in the sale of fake, illegal SIMs across the country.

He further said the PTA, during the last three years, also blocked about 526,082 fake SIMs and 360,569 Computerized National Identify Cards used for getting illegal SIMs.

He said Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) have been directed to install Live Finger Detective (LED) devices for issuance of SIMs.

He said to discourage the business of fake SIMs, directions have been passed to NADRA to do verification based on index fingers instead of thumb impression.

The chairman said that as per law, no Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) were authorised to sell SIMs door-to-door.

Federal Investigation Agency’s additional secretary informed the committee that 89,000 cybercrime complaints were received by the agency. He said that FIA has recently recovered 13,000 fake SIMs in Faisalabad.

The committee also sought a comprehensive briefing on social media rules. The chairman said that feedback from the parliamentarians should also be included.

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