The data of more than 2.2 million Pakistani citizens has been compromised and is now being offered for sale online. This alarming incident unfolded as hackers successfully infiltrated a database utilized by hundreds of restaurants across the country. The security breach has exposed sensitive information and raised questions about data security in an increasingly digital world.
A Bold Claim by Hackers
The perpetrators behind this audacious cyberattack wasted no time in making their presence known. In a bold declaration, they asserted to have breached the databases of more than 250 restaurants, revealing a glaring vulnerability in the systems these establishments rely on to manage their operations efficiently. The citizens’ data is available for purchase at a price of 2 Bitcoins, equating to approximately $54,000, given the current market rate of $27,000 per Bitcoin. In terms of Pakistani rupees, these two Bitcoins amount to over Rs15 million.
The Dark Implications of the Security Breach
The compromised data encompasses a trove of personal information, including contact numbers and credit card details of Pakistani citizens. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the breached software, a staple in the restaurant industry, contained records of payment histories, shedding light on the number of transactions and amounts paid by each individual. This data is now readily available for purchase on the dark web, posing a grave threat to the affected citizens’ financial security and privacy.
It’s worth mentioning that the federal government issued a recommendation on Tuesday, urging all IT and financial institutions, along with regulatory bodies, to abstain from partnering with, installing, or utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and information communication technology (ICT) products originating from India. This advisory stems from concerns about the persistent and covert threat these products may pose to Pakistan’s critical information infrastructure (CII), potentially amplifying its vulnerabilities.