Sunday October 17, 2021

Phishing attacks on FBR data: Funding sought from WB to install safety protocols

Phishing attacks on FBR data: Funding sought from WB to install safety protocols

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sought multimillion-dollar funding from the World Bank for the placement of expansive safety protocols to ensure security of taxpayers data maintained by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The top FBR officials claimed that the tax regulatory authority has recently experienced phishing attack by hackers at its main data center located at the Pakistan Revenue Authority Limited (PRAL) but the cyber-criminals failed to make any breakthrough.

Giving details about recent cyber-attack, the FBR spokesman said that the revenue department’s data was fully protected and the government would hold an independent inquiry to ascertain the facts, adding that the World Bank was also requested to provide funding for installing safety equipment and protocols to ensure the safety and security of data. Under the Pakistan Raises Revenue project worth $400 million, the World Bank and FBR have already agreed to utilise a certain chunk of funding for improvement of ICT infrastructure, including the safety and security of data.

On an urgent basis, the FBR seeks to replace its obsolete IT equipment and software, which pose high risks to the continuity of operations and data security. Besides, the tax authority also needs to upgrade its ICT systems and strengthen its analytical skills to effectively utilise taxpayers data. In addition, automation will reduce direct FBR staff interaction with taxpayers and traders, thereby, reducing the risk of rent seeking behaviour.