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Massive Data Breach Exposes 27 Million Pakistanis’ Records

Government Investigation Uncovers Theft and Sale of Sensitive Data

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – A shocking government report revealed on Tuesday that the personal data of over 27 million Pakistani citizens has been stolen from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) over the past four years, in a massive breach of security.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) submitted its findings to the Interior Ministry, detailing how data from NADRA offices in Multan, Peshawar, and Karachi was compromised between 2019 and 2023. The stolen information was then trafficked from Multan to Peshawar, sent to Dubai, and ultimately sold on the black market in countries like Argentina and Romania.

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Formed on the directions of the Public Accounts Committee, the JIT will collaborate with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Military Intelligence to investigate the data leak further. The report recommends disciplinary action against senior NADRA officials believed to be involved.

The breach first came to light in March 2023 when hackers infiltrated NADRA’s systems and accessed sensitive data, including records of military personnel. Headed by the FIA Director of Cybercrime, the JIT was tasked with probing the incident after the then-caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar ordered a full inquiry.

In its report, the JIT called for urgent measures to secure citizens’ data, proposing new protocols and upgraded technology solutions. The Prime Minister has already instructed NADRA to implement the recommendations to prevent such breaches in the future.

The sheer scale of this data theft, impacting over 2 million people, has raised serious concerns over Pakistan’s cybersecurity readiness and data protection practices. As the investigation continues, the nation anxiously awaits accountability and assurances that their private information will be safeguarded.

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