Government of the Punjab, Services and General Administration Department (Welfare Wing) has issued the official Notification letter on 14th February, 2020 in connection with ban on use of whatsapp for sharing of official Notifications.
I am directed to reefer to the subject cited above and to enclose a copy letter No. 1-5/2003(NTISB-II) dated 31-01-2020, received from the Cabinet, Islamabad, wherein instruction regarding ban on use of whatsapp and other media for sharing official / confidential information have been conveyed. It is requested to comply with directions in letter and spirit.
WhatsApp Banned in Pakistan
Government of Pakistan, Cabinet Secretariat, Cabinet Division, National Telecom & Information Technology Security Board (NTISB) has issued the official Notification letter on 31st January, 2020 in connection with use of whatsapp banned in Pakistan Govt Departments for sharing of official letters / information.
It has been reported that Hostile Intelligence agencies have developed technical capabilities and means to gain access information stored mobile phones of officials of Government Departments / Institutions / Ministries in country.
These spyware companies are using hacking softwares / applications such as “Chat Line” and “Pegasus” malware on whatsapp Account of target mobile phone (IOS and Android) to gain access of sensitive information stored on mobile phone.
The malware is capable to infect any mobile phone (IOS and Android) only by generating missed call on target WhatsApp number. This ” Pegasus” malware has infected approximately 1400 senior government and military officials in twenty countries including Pakistan. Hostile spyware companies such as Israel based NSO Group have been sued by WhatsApp / Facebook in the US court of San Francisco for for “violating both US and California laws as well as the WhatsApp Terms of Service”.
Although advisory on the subject has been also issued to all government departments / ministries by NTISB, Cabinet Division, however in order to minimize the possibility of any infection by Pegasus malware, Senior government officials holding sensitive portfolios / dealing with with national security matter s are advised to consider following:-
a). No official / classified information be shared on Whatsapp or similar application being highly insecure.
b). WhatsApp be upgraded to latest version (version 2.19.112 for IOS and 2.19.308 for Android as of 4 November 2019).
c). All mobile phones purchased prior to 10 May 2019, be immediately replaced. Forwarded for strict compliance, please.