More than 50 websites that are linked to Pakistan’s ministries and government institutions faced a major security breach on Saturday. The major blow includes the official website of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. This is one of the worst cyber attacks Pakistan have ever faced. Most websites still remain affected or inaccessible to the public.
Foreign Ministry website went down in many countries
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal confirmed to the media that the site was under constant attacks from hackers for a better part of Saturday. Hackers had also deleted the profile of Imran Khan, the current prime minister of Pakistan from the website.
The spokesperson further stated that the ministry has received complaints about the inaccessibility of the site from quite a number of countries.
“Our IT team is currently working on the situation and things will soon go back to normal,” said Dr. Mohammad Faisal.
“Half of our website was down in several countries and once we discovered this, we embarked on the restoration process. It is a move that we had expected will take place and that is why we were ready for any eventuality,” said the spokesperson.
“We started restoring the website and we will soon be done with the process.” he clarified.
However, users from different countries such as the UK, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Australia complained about the difficulties that they faced when trying to access the site.
More than 50 Official websites were hacked
More than 50 websites were hacked including Lahore high court, Punjab Government school portal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Citizen’s Portal by suspected Indian hacking groups such as LulzSec India and Team I-crew. These websites are now taken down and remain inaccessible at the moment. Most of the hacked pages are playing Indian national anthem and paying tribute to the Indian soldiers for their martyrdom.
Some of the hacked websites are:
Hacking Linked to Pulwama Terror Attack
The hacking claim on the website of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes at the wake of a deadly terror attack that took place at Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The attack which took place on Thursday claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnel.
It is claimed that the attack was executed by a suicide bomber who used a vehicle laden with the explosives to attack a convoy of buses that were transporting the CRPF personnel.
The convoy consisted of 78 buses and was ferrying approximately 2500 CRPF personnel.
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which is a Pakistan-based terrorist group claimed the responsibility for the deadly attack.
Pulwama attack condemned by over 50 countries
The ghastly Pulwama attack has been condemned by more than 50 countries. Most of these countries have pledged to continue India’s efforts in countering terrorism. At the top of the list is the United States which has taken a very strong stand against Pakistan.
Apart from the hacking claims, India has taken other punitive measures against Pakistan. It has revoked the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status that it had given to Pakistan for trading.
The aftermath of the Pulwama attack has affected the trading relationship between these two countries. For instance, India hiked the basic customs duty on goods imported from Pakistan by 200%.
For years, India and other countries have accused Pakistan of supporting cross-border terrorist activities that have been witnessed in Kashmir. This is despite the fact that Pakistan has been strongly denying its involvement in terrorism.
On its part, India claims that Pakistan has been using terrorism as an instrument to convey its policy.
Another country that has come out strongly to accuse Pakistan is Iran. Iran’s claims come after the Wednesday’s killing of 27 armed forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRG). Iran is accusing Pakistan’s government of housing terrorists.
Pakistan condemns the hacking
On the other side, Pakistan has strongly condemned the hacking of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website. The spokesperson of the Foreign Affair claims that this was an attempt to deny people their right to getting information.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is an important source of information to the people inside and outside Pakistan. The hacking is an attempt to stop the right information from being disseminated to people,” said the spokesperson.