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Govt officials warned of cyber espionage

By Our Correspondent
August 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government has directed all federal secretaries and chief secretaries of provinces to ensure cyber security to combat Pegasus cyber espionage.

Cabinet Division’s National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board (NTISB) has recommended measures like replacement of mobile devices of all important officials with clean devices and multi-factor authentication on new accounts.

Pegasus malware delivers complete intelligence of security operations, including stealth monitoring and extracts information which is forwarded or uploaded to adversary servers. An agent is covertly installed on victim’s device through remote installation.

The recommendations suggest that social messengers like WhatsApp etc should not be used for official work or correspondence and extreme precaution for likely call and messages interception should be exercised during travel abroad. An organization-level awareness campaign regarding social engineering and phishing email attacks should be organised for high-profile government officials. Mobile jammers should be installed at highly sensitive areas and during sensitive meetings. Scanning of all official mobile phones for finding Indicators of Compromise (I0Cs) should be done.

Reporting of suspicious files, emails or any malicious activity may be reported to this organization on the following email addresses for analysis and suggesting mitigation measures: —