In a recent cyber assault on a government website, hackers managed to seize control of the Ministry of Aviation’s website not once but twice.
Initially, the ministry’s website fell victim to a brief hacking incident where a message in a foreign language was displayed. The IT department promptly restored the site. However, the hackers persisted and launched a second attack, successfully exploiting vulnerabilities once again. Subsequently, the IT department regained control of the website.
These cyberattacks on the Ministry of Aviation’s website have sparked significant concerns regarding the overall efficacy of cybersecurity measures in place. Currently, there is no official confirmation regarding the hacking incidents.
This incident is not isolated, as government websites have faced similar breaches before. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s website encountered a comparable security breach where hackers displayed a message announcing their “spring sale.”
Moreover, the official website of Pakistan Railways has been a repeated target of cyberattacks, underscoring a persistent issue with cybersecurity in various government institutions.
In response to the reports of the Aviation Ministry’s website hacking, the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) has issued a clarification. Faisal Imtiaz, an NTC official, refuted media reports, asserting that there was no breach in the Aviation Ministry’s website security. According to him, the website has not been hacked; rather, a captcha has been added. News outlets incorrectly interpreted this addition as a foreign hacking group’s intrusion.
Imtiaz clarified that the website employs multilayer security, with the captcha serving to differentiate between bots and humans—a standard security procedure. Users encountered a captcha with Chinese text, indicating, “Your computer or network may be sending an automatic access request. To continue access, please enter the following letters.”