(CTN News) – Following several reported cyberattacks, the Cabinet Division has written to all federal ministries and departments alerting them to the dangers of phony emails and WhatsApp messages purporting to be from government agencies.
The letter addressed on Sunday to all federal ministries stated that there had been complaints of spoof emails and communications being sent to several ministries using the fictitious email address “JS (COORD)”.
The letter added that phony Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and PM Secretariat email addresses were sent to several departments. According to the division, the malicious attachments in these phony emails forced recipients to download the files to their PCs.
The Cabinet Division sent out a letter cautioning all federal ministries to avoid dealing with these kinds of emails and departments while the case is being looked into at “the highest level.” The letter further states that calls and emails claiming to be from the Special Investment Facility Council (SIFC) can be fraudulent.
In the letter, Javed—who was pretending to be the “deputy director of SIFC and PM secretariat”—and Shehzad Ahmed—who was pretending to be the “assistant director of PMO and SIFC Cell”—warned the ministries not to answer their calls or download their files.
Warnings against WhatsApp messages and emails
“Any WhatsApp messages or emails from above-mentioned credentials or email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org, may be ignored and blocked,” the letter stated.
The message further recommended opening emails about the SIFC Apex Committee only after obtaining sender verification. The Cabinet Division states that every system needs to have an antivirus program installed.
The message said as follows: “Any system that is being used to open emails needs to have antivirus software installed. A suitably user-friendly version of GUI-based Linux can be loaded on a PC or an Apple MAC can be utilized as an alternative.”
It further stated that all ministries that viewed the email dated August 3, 2022, and credited to the PMO press secretary needed to blacklist the IP address.
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