ISLAMABAD: A Joint Investiga­tion Team (JIT), which was formed to probe a data leak from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), has told the Interior Ministry that the particulars of as many as 2.7 million citizens had been compromised between 2019 and 2023.

Sources told Dawn the JIT, headed by a senior officer of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and comprising representatives from various intelligence agencies, had completed its probe and subsequently submitted a report to the ministry.

The JIT found that Nadra offices in Karachi, Multan and Peshawar were allegedly involved in the data leak and recommended action against various officials.

Sources said that, according to the report, there was evidence of Nadra data surfacing in Argentina and Romania.

JIT submits report on Nadra data leak to interior ministry

A source said Nadra has already taken numerous steps to deliver its services in an improved manner, ensuring the optimal security of its database.

Action has been initiated following a probe into the cyber security incident that took place in March 2023.

The JIT has also recommended an upgrade of technology, as well as departmental and criminal proceedings against those found responsible for the lapse.

The issue of the vulnerability of Nadra’s data had been raised in the past, but gained prominence only after the disclosure of an information leak about certain senior military officials.

In November 2021, a National Assembly panel had been told that the personal data of millions of Pakistanis might have been compromised, allegedly due to weaknesses in Nadra’s security framework.

During an earlier meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, a senior FIA official had revealed that certain biometric records had been hacked.

It was later clarified that only the biometric system used for SIM verification, among other things had been “compromised”, and not the entire data record.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...
Isfahan strikes
Updated 20 Apr, 2024

Isfahan strikes

True de-escalation means Israel must start behaving like a normal state, not a rogue nation that threatens the entire region.
President’s speech
20 Apr, 2024

President’s speech

PRESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari seems to have managed to hit all the right notes in his address to the joint sitting of...
Karachi terror
20 Apr, 2024

Karachi terror

IS urban terrorism returning to Karachi? Yesterday’s deplorable suicide bombing attack on a van carrying five...