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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Islamabad Safe City Online System disabled following cyberattack attempt

The firewall of the system issues an alert in case of any trespassing into the server. There was no alternate management system or backup server to keep the system and applications operational.

In bizarre events, hackers attacked the Islamabad Safe City Online Project and stole private and confidential data. The hacking attack caused significant disruption to the city’s security infrastructure.

The system of Islamabad Safe City Authority was taken offline following the incident. As per the reports, the incident happened last Thursday. Hackers gained access to the system’s main server, thereby gaining access to sensitive data and records. The data was notably linked to criminal databases.

As a countermeasure, servers managing the Complaint Management System, Criminal Management Record System, Human Resource Management System, and several operational software and applications were deactivated.

The firewall of the system issues an alert in case of any trespassing into the server. There was no alternate management system or backup server to keep the system and applications operational. Hence, the system was shut down.

IT department of the authority disabled all logins to applications and software. An officer pointed out that this is not the normal hacking attempt but it originated from the exposure of login credentials. These credentials were compromised due to officials employing simple passwords.

The affected system comprises mobile applications, records of smart police vehicles, data from police stations, video analytics, operations of Islamabad Traffic police, e-challan, and criminal records.

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The incident involved compromised login credentials, reportedly due to officers using simple passwords. Outdated software with expired licenses further exposed the system’s vulnerabilities.

“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.

Police spokesperson, Taqi Jawad, confirmed the attempt and the firewall’s prompt response, leading to a precautionary shutdown of all logins. This measure, while ensuring security, has caused disruptions for police personnel for the past 48 hours as new credentials are being implemented.