Cyber crime response centre remains disconnected`
Malik AsadISLAMABAD: How can the country’s cyber security system produce the desired results when it remains disconnected with the outside world?
“These days, the cyber crime wing has neither virtual nor real connectivity with the rest of the world,” a senior official of the wing told Dawn.
For the last a couple of days, the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NR3C) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is dysfunctional because all its telephone lines have been damaged during the ongoing construction work on Peshawar Mor interchange.
NR3C was introduced in 2007 to deal with technology-based crime in Pakistan. It is the only unit of its kind in the country which directly receives complaints and assists other law enforcement agencies.
A senior official of the NR3C told Dawn that all the 12 telephone lines were out of order for over a couple of days and as a result the NR3C was not in a position to receive or respond to complaints about cyber crime.
He said the cyber crime response centre cannot protect the cyber security of a number of government departments because of the connectivity problem. “All our operations have come to a standstill and we cannot provide services to the citizens and the federal government,” the official added.
According to the FIA website, NR3C provides services, including computer forensics, that deal with pornography, child sex abuse and the online sale of black market goods. It also provides mobile forensic as criminals use smartphones for a number of activities such as committing fraud over e-mail, harassment through text messages, trafficking of child pornography, communications related to narcotics, etc. The response centre also deals with video and network forensics.
The NR3C official said a complaint had been lodged with the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) but a response was still awaited. Despite repeated attempts, SarfarazHussain, the director media of the interior ministry, the parent ministry of the NR3C, could not be contacted for comments. AounBokhari, deputy director of the NR3C, however, confirmed that the telephone lines of the wing were out of order.
A senior official of the NTC, when contacted, said because of the ongoing construction work near Peshawar Mor, the underground telephone lines sometimes got disturbed. He said teams had been dispatched to repair the damaged telephone lines and the connectivity to the cyber crime response centre would be restored soon.
Director General (technical) of the NTC, MirajGul, said sometimes telephone lines were damaged during any construction work. He said the NTC repairs the faults as soon as it comes into its notice.