PTA warns of cyber attacks, advises against use of public WiFi

The telecom regulatory body says hackers are attempting to gain financial benefit in the name of pandemic

Web Desk
The logo of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).; the WhatsApp logo is seen on a phone screen, August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Files

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday warned of possible cyber attacks under the guise of messages containing coronavirus information and advised people not to use WiFi at public places.

In a statement, the PTA told people to be wary of text messages claiming to provide information and updates on COVID-19. It added that everyone should "refrain from using open WiFi at public locations".

Internet service providers were also cautioned to remain alert of coronavirus-related cyber attacks.

The telecom regulatory body said online criminals, including hackers, were attempting to gain financial benefit from the name of the pandemic. Entire systems could be hacked if files attached in suspicious emails were downloaded, it added.

The PTA also cautioned against providing passwords, sensitive and personal data, and credit card information anywhere online. People should update their software applications as well, it added.

If anyone wished to apprise themselves of updates on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, they should use information sources announced by the government.

People should only use trustworthy links and licensed websites for any downloading purposes, the PTA noted.