Pakistan government takes key steps over use of social media in government offices over fear of cyber attacks by hostile agencies

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Pakistan government takes key steps over use of social media in government offices over fear of cyber attacks by hostile agencies

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan government takes key steps over use of social media in government offices over fear of cyber attacks by hostile agencies.

The federal government has issued directives to the provincial governments to ban the use of social networking apps, reported link *The News.*

Moreover, the Sindh government is said to have also taken measures in this regard and is considering banning the use of WhatsApp and other social networking applications by government servants.

A letter has been issued by the National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board, Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan, titled *Ban on use of WhatsApp and likewise means for sharing of official letter and Information*.

“It has been reported that hostile intelligence agencies have developed technical capabilities and means to gain access to sensitive information stored in mobile phones of officials of government departments, institutions, and ministers in the country," it reads.

“These spyware companies are using hacking softwares and applications such as Chat Line and Pegasus malware on WhatsApp account of target mobile phones (IOS and Android) to gain access to sensitive information stored on mobile phones.

The malware is capable to infect any mobile phone (IOS and Android) only by generating missed call on target WhatsApp number," it warns.

“This Pegasus malware has infected approximately 1400 senior government and military officials in twenty countries including Pakistan.

Hostile spyware companies such as Israel-based NSO Group have been sued by WhatsApp and Facebook in the US Court of San Francisco for violating both US and California laws as well as the WhatsApp Terms of Service," the letter notes.