ISLAMABAD: The data of 2.2 million Pakistani citizens has been compromised and put up for sale online after some hackers gained access to a private company-made database used by hundreds of restaurants.
According to a Geo News’ report on Wednesday, the hackers have reportedly displayed the data of some citizens as samples in the advertisement for the online sale.
“We have hacked the databases of over 250 restaurants,” the hackers claimed while naming dozens of food outlets.
As per details, the compromised citizen data includes their contact numbers and credit card details, while the software which has been hacked is used by hundreds of restaurants in the country.
Moreover, the details, including the number of times and the amount a citizen has paid, are available online for purchase.
The data of citizens is being offered for 2 Bitcoins, which make up to $54,000 as one Bitcoin is worth $27,000 as per the market sources.
In Pakistani rupees, two Bitcoins are worth over Rs15 million.
The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FBR) cybercrime circle has said that no complaint has been received in this regard so far.
It may be noted that the federal government on Tuesday advised all informational technology (IT) and financial institutions, including regulators, to “refrain from collaboration, installation and use of Indian origin” artificial intelligence (AI)/information and communication technology (ICT) products as it may poses a “constant, concealed and force multiplier threat” to Pakistan’s critical information infrastructure (CII).
The government had informed the authorities concerned of the threat via a “cyber security advisory” — which was obtained by Geo News — shared with federal and provincial ministries including sectoral regulators.
It noted that globally AI products and services are being used by various industries including financial and banking sectors to accelerate enterprise growth.
“It has been learnt that [the] fintech sector of Pakistan including a few banks are engaged with Indian-origin companies who are offering them IT products, Cyber Security and AI solutions, etc,” the document had stated.
It had added that the “use of Indian security products/solutions” was a constant, concealed and force multiplier threat” to Pakistan’s CII, including the banking sector, for two reasons.
The factors were identified as a “possibility” of “backdoor or malware” in the products to collect “logs/data traffic analysis and personal identifiable information (PII)”.
The other factor it pointed out was that it was “direct Indian ingress in Pakistan’s CII through technical means/access control with passive monitoring capability”.