In the latest it has been found that the personal information of 44 million Pakistani mobile phone users has been leaked online, as reported by ZDNet. It was revealed last month by a Pakistani cybersecurity company which had located a data dump on the dark web which contained information of 115 million Pakistani mobile users. This shows how dirty the internet world can really be and on top of this it’s been found that the asking price for the data dump was 300 Bitcoins (BTC) or $2.1 million.
Moving on, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), and NADRA are in the works of investigating the data dump on the orders of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and shall present the senate with their findings at the next committee hearing.
Furthermore, the type of data of people found in the data leak shows that it contains personally-identifiable and telephony-related information of customers of all the telecom operators. Information such as, Names, Mobile phone numbers, CNIC numbers, Residential addresses, Landline numbers, Dates of subscription and much more has been leaked and only God knows what people can do with such information. It is worth noting here that the sample of 44 million records found by the cybersecurity agency, the latest data is from 2013. This basically means either the hacker got his hand on an old backup file or the data breach occurred in 2013 and surfaced online just now, either way data is data and if your personal data is in the hands of another person, then that truly is a major problem.
Now even though the data has been leaked, there is no changing that, but at this time it is the responsibility of telecom operators in Pakistan to notify their customers about the data breach and to comfort them that they are putting in efforts to solve the issue. The companies have neither notified nor solved the situationat this time and their failure in this matter shows that either the companies were unaware of the breach or they have deliberately chosen to keep their customers in the dark.The latest data leak has once again raised serious questions on the protocols telecom companies are following regarding data security and privacy in Pakistan.