KARACHI: In the wake of ongoing anti-government protests in Islamabad, a group of hackers calling themselves 'Anonymous Op Pakistan' temporarily brought down numerous government portals in a bid to remove, "every vestige of the Pakistan government from the Internet".
The group also leaked a zip file containing 23,000 bank records allegedly connected to the government. The zip file contained a document that stated the leak was carried out by ASOR Hack Team.
Claiming to be a part of Anonymous - the global hacktivist network - the hackers attacked over two dozen government websites overnight, a few of which remained inaccessible on Monday. Some of the hacked websites were defaced as well.
In numerous online messages, Anonymous Op Pakistan said it was carrying out the attacks for political reasons, in support of the PTI/PAT protesters:
"We are cataloging the atrocities being committed in Pakistan. We will begin at once assisting the peaceful protesters in Pakistan with every tool and tactic at our disposal. And we will initiate the process of removing every vestige of the Pakistan government from the Internet and shutting down their communications network. And the Pakistani people will then remove this criminal regime from power and lock them in prison where they belong. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you are hereby dismissed. You will leave power immediately. For the safety and security of your family we suggest that you depart Pakistan at once. This is your only warning."
The group also condemned police action against the protesters:
As for the criminal security and military forces who have so barbarically attacked your own people in Pakistan, we will collect evidence of your crimes and deal with you in the time and manner of our choosing. You would do well to....well, you know - expect us. You will either answer to the justice of your people and the international community, or you will be the subject of the rage filled vengeance of Anonymous.
Portals that were hacked included:
Pakistan Army (www.joinpakarmy.gov.pk)
Pakistan Air Force (www.paf.gov.pk, www.joinpaf.gov.pk)
Inter Services Public Relations (www.ispr.gov.pk)
Federal Investigative Agency (www.fia.gov.pk)
Punjab Government (www.punjab.gov.pk)
Urban Unit (www.urbanunit.gov.pk)
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (www.pemra.gov.pk)
Pakistan Electronics Manufacturers Association (www.pema.gov.pk)
Provincial Disaster Management Authority (www.pdma.gov.pk/)
Press Information Department (www.pid.gov.pk)
Pakistan Meteorological Department (www.pmd.gov.pk)
National Institute of Electronics (www.nie.gov.pk)
Federal Board of Revenue (e.fbr.gov.pk)