Federal ministries caution about fake emails, WhatsApp messages

In this illustration picture a man is holding a laptop computer and cyber code is shown on it.  - Reuters/File
In this illustration picture a man is holding a laptop computer and cyber code is shown on it. – Reuters/File
  • An investigation is underway at the “highest level”.
  • SIFC emails must be verified with the sender.
  • Cabinet Division urges to install antivirus on all systems.

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Division has issued a letter to all federal ministries and departments, warning them about fake emails and WhatsApp messages linked to government departments following a series of alleged cyber attacks.

According to the letter issued to all federal ministries on Sunday, there were reports of fake emails and messages being sent to various ministries from a fake email ID of “JS (COORD)”.

The letter also said that various ministries have also received emails from fake IDs of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the PM Secretariat.

The division said that these fake emails contained malicious attachments that tricked users into downloading those files to their computers.

In the letter, the Cabinet Division advised all federal ministries and departments to be cautious of such emails, while the matter is being investigated at the “highest level”.

Additionally, emails and phone calls purporting to be from the Special Investment Facility Council (SIFC) may also be fake, according to the letter.

The letter warned the ministries against Javed, who faked himself as “Deputy Director of SIFC and PM Secretariat” and Shahzad Ahmed, who faked himself as “Assistant Director of PMO and SIFC Cell”. Do not receive calls or download files from.

“Any WhatsApp message or email from the above mentioned credentials or email ID: Shehzad[email protected]may be ignored and blocked,” the letter read.

The letter also advised that emails with reference to SIFC Apex Committee should be opened after verification from the sender.

According to the Cabinet Division, an anti-virus should be installed in all systems.

The letter reads: “Antivirus should be installed on all systems being used to open email. As an alternative, Apple Macs can be used or those with an appropriate user-friendly version of GUI-based Linux. A PC can be installed.”

It said that all ministries opening the email sent in the name of the Press Secretary of the PMO on August 3, 2022 will have to block the IP address.

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