IT&T Ministry Wakes Up To Indian Snakes’ Sting
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: May 04 (PNS) - The Ministry of IT and Telecom seems to have waken up from its slumber of about 40 days since DOS-cum-DDOS attack started on Pakistan’s official web domains and servers when Federal Minister Owais Leghari has sought a report on the ways to guard against such attack in a mximum period of five days.
The federal minister sat down with the complaining private sector including the Internet industry representatives and handed over the responsibility of preparing a calculated response to the India Snakes attacks to a high-powered committee to. The body has been assigned to recommend steps within five days to restore security of web portals and servers’, network auditing to check further losses caused by the Indian cyber-terrorism, Indian Snakes.
The decision was taken in high level meeting attended by Federal Minister Owais Leghari, high officials of the IT &T ministry, PTCL chairman, ISPAK central office-bearers, PTA chairman Shahzada Alam and PSEB representative.
The ISPs have been suffering for the last 40 days due to poor quality of Internet backbone services provided by PTCL.
The attack launched through ‘X’ various of Yaha series virus inflicts Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)-cum Domain Name Server (DNS), thus hampering the official web domains and servers of the Pakistan government of Pakistan for the last five weeks. Over
0 official websites hosted by the COMSATS Internet Service as well as some other hosting companies have been inaccessible for public for over three weeks.
The usage of ISPs has dropped by 60% with customers refusing to pay for the services as the Internet speed had slowed down considerably owing to Yaya series viruses which had been eating the bandwidth at ISP level.
The seven-member committee formed in this regard comprised PTCL officials Nooruddin Baqai, Captian Zahir, Shaqaib, Aqil Khurshid^; ISPAK members Mr Naeem, Ali and Ehtesham and PSEB representative Muhmmad Tahir.
Within a period of five days, the body has been assigned to formulate “a concrete strategy to stem the incidence of DoS attacks.” The committee will work on urgent basis and suggest short-term measures within two days.
The meeting also assigned the committee to even look into the possibility of “changing the host servers of the government websites to keep them safe from the hackers.” “There is no harm in transferring the sites to foreign hosts as there are several in the international market who offer such services,” said the federal minister who has been alleged to have only paid lip-service to the issue over the past several weeks.
Owais said once such attackers are identified, the government would raise the matter at relevant international fora as cyber laws are in place to check crimes such as DoS attacks.
The meeting also gave 15 days time limit to remove complaints of ISPs regarding persistent delay in the signing of service-level agreements despite earlier pledges made to this effect. After singing the SLA, the PTCL will have to pay the penalties in case the Internet availability is not ensured upto 99 per cent at domestic level and 95 per cent at local level.
The PTCL admitted in the meeting its inexperience as a major carrier and immediately placed a much-delayed advertisement on its website to seek the services of a consultant to assess the traffic on the bandwidth in Karachi.
After the lapse of a month ago, the corporation chairman did not place the promised advertisement despite giving his words to the private sector.
The ISPs pleaded that internationally^; it is the responsibility of upstream service providers to tackle these attacks.
“The PTCL has failed to get its upstream service providers i.e. Singtel to cope these attacks. They observed that since PTCL is charging ISPs for the bandwidth, they must get the service, which they pay for.
The ISPs also raised the issue of PTCL not making a single claim to Singtel for implementing the SLA while the corporation has been informed well in advance on these attacks but no action was taken.
The meeting headed by the federal minister formed a two-member committee comprising PTCL member operations and ISPAK office-bearer Wahaj-us-Siraj to sort out the compensation issue with the corporation.
The minister said he had also directed PTCL to finalise the issue of tariff rationalization for internet as well as international private leased lines for the benefit of ISPs, call centres and corporate users.
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