Few elements within security institutions have attempted to hack the mobile phones of senior government officers to extract sensitive information, according to a press release issued by the Prime Minister's Office on Friday.
A few elements tried to acquire sensitive information from top government officials and bureaucracy.
An attempt was also made by sending a mobile hacking link on WhatsApp, the statement said.
The government has warned all officers to stay vigilant and not respond to any such text message. The officers have been directed to report cabinet division in the event of receiving any such text message.
The security institutions are fully alert to avert any such attempt in the future, the press release read.
On July 8, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) employees were targeted by a ransomware attack, prompting the electoral watchdog to issue an advisory.
The attack has raised alarm at a time when the country is gearing up for general elections in a few months.
The advisory cautioned the employees not to open emails with suspicious links in them.
The advisory, issued by ECP, also carried a screenshot of a phishing email titled ‘implementation of social media policy’ dated July 5, with a 2 KB RAR file attached to it.
According to ECP, the attack was an attempt by unidentified hackers to gain access to the files stored on employees’ computers.
The advisory has also been sent to the staff officers of the chief election commissioner, ECP secretary, and additional secretary; all heads of departments; and provincial election commissioners.
Ransomware is extortion software designed to deny a user or organization access to files on their computer, according to a cybersecurity expert.
By encrypting these files and demanding a ransom payment for the decryption key, cyberattackers place organizations in a position where paying the ransom is the easiest and cheapest way to regain access to their files.
Cyberattacks have become a constant threat for officials after several key institutions were targeted in the recent past.