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Cyber Crime Wing meets today to co-ordinate efforts

Source: Jang.Com.Pk
By Imran Ayub
Date: October 04, 2003

Cyber Crime KARACHI: Cyber Crime Wing meets in Islamabad today (Saturday) to discuss the single item agenda "co-ordinated efforts to combat cyber crime in Pakistan", sources close to the matter said. Project Director, Federal Investigation Agency would chair the wing’s meeting which would be attended by high officials of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and representatives of Internet service providers (ISPs) and software houses. The wing was jointly formed by the ministries of interior and telecommunications after some hackers managed to break into official websites a few months back.

"We will meet to discuss one-point agenda - co-ordinated efforts to combat cyber crime in Pakistan, the threats and the measures to counter them," said an official in the ministry of IT and telecom. He said telecom ministry had invited all the stakeholders and experts who could assist in making a campaign a success.

The government a few months back formed National Response Centre (NRC) for Cyber Crime controlled by the FIA, which it said, would focus on emerging criminal threats in the wake of technology advancement.

"The centre aims to cap criminals’ communications and make online business dealing a fair play," said one of the NRC members.

He said the co-ordination between the two ministries would definitely help in achieving the target. However, representatives of ISPs and software houses invited to attend the meeting said a campaign requires commitment and consistent efforts on part of government to get desired goals.

"This is not the first time that we are invited to attend such a meeting. The government did many much exercises in past also but all in vain," said an invitee to the meeting.

Meanwhile, authorities made it clear the NRC meeting had nothing to do with the Ministry of Information’s Cyber Wing as it performed totally different task.

"The Cyber Wing was formed by the information ministry comprising IT professionals and experts tasked with countering virus attacks by a neighbouring country’s hackers on government websites," said a telecom ministry official explaining difference between the two wings. Indian hackers launched virus attacks on government websites earlier this year. They called themselves "Indian Snacks" and sent viruses in emails littered with anti Pakistan messages.

Members NRC said though the centre was finally formed a few months back it had remained in gestation for over a year. "The issue became a serious concern after reports that the killers of Daniel Pearl, the US journalist used cyber cafes to communicate," said a source.
He said the centre’s first step is most likely to be regulating Internet cafÈs mushrooming in the country.

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