Cyberattacks, users beware
Globally, there have been more ‘hactivity’ warnings of late, either by private groups out to disturb the internet of things or countries discreetly participating in cyberattacks against nations that cry foul over the other’s policies. The most recent cyberattack, in the form of a disturbed denial of service, affected millions of users across Europe and the US, as well as users who avail proxy servers, prompting the US Department of Homeland Security to launch investigations. The Pakistani government also recently warned officials about technical threats in using certain applications, especially the game Pokemon Go, which might potentially record user data and activity. The threat of online security breaches is not nascent. The frequency of attacks has risen, especially with cloud sharing and advanced smartphones.
Cyberattacks have been so extensive that we recently discovered some British banks are not even divulging to regulators the extent to which security has been breached. In 2016, there have already been 75 such attacks. Whether hacking is used for illegal personal gains or for political warfare by countries such as North Korea and Russia, the situation is getting out of hand. Governments and cybercrime experts are rushing to implement policies that would result in taut restrictions and punishments for transgressors of cyberlaws. China’s government has already instituted harsh polices prohibiting the use of various social media and sharing platforms. The National Assembly also passed the Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 outlining fines and prison terms for breaches. When world powers are not able to ward off cyberthreats, though, one wonders how this developing country’s cybersecurity measures will fare in blocking Internet crimes and protecting citizens’ privacy, especially as it moves more government office systems and processes online, such as the new online passport renewal facility for Pakistanis abroad.