NADRA biometric data is hacked, FIA told House body

Ijaz Kakakhel

Law makers of Upper House of Parliament on Thursday was informed that National Database and Registration Authority’s biometric data has been hacked, which was responsible for issuing illegal SIMs of different cellular companies.

The Federal Investigation Agency’s cybercrime wing made these exposers during national assembly standing committee on information technology and telecommunication, which held today in parliament hose while, MNA Ali Khan Jadoon was on chair. The FIA Cybercrime Wing Additional Director Tariq Pervez made the revelation about Nadra’s biometric data.

“Nadra’s data has been compromised, and it has been hacked. In a later statement, he attempted to clarify his remarks and said that all of Nadra’s data had not been hacked.

“During the SIM verification process involving biometric data, Nadra’s biometric system is compromised,” he said, without providing further explanation.

The FIA official told the NA body that 13,000 fake SIMs were seized during a crackdown in Faisalabad.

He stated that the wing had received 89,000 cybercrime complaints so far, and did not have the sufficient number of staff to address the complaints reported on a daily basis. “The FIA’s cybercrime wing only has 162 investigation officers,” he told the committee.

He also said that whenever they trace culprits behind financial fraud cases, they usually turn out to be an elderly person or a woman, whose data is being used by the real culprits.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa said that no mobile phone company had been given permission to sell SIMs door-to-door.

“There has been a 600 percent decrease in the sale of illegal SIMs during the past one year,” he said. He said that people’s thumbprints are taken using “illegal methods”, adding that the thumbprint system was now being phased out.

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