Thursday, October 6, 2022

FBR Website and Platforms Closed on August 14

On the 75th anniversary of independence, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reportedly shut down its website and other linked platforms out of fear of hackers.

It seems that the FBR website and associated portals were down for more than 24 hours before they suddenly started working again this morning.

They went down late on a Saturday night and stayed down all day Sunday. Making it impossible to send tax returns. FBR spokesperson Tahir Jappa said that the FBR website and other portals had been down for more than a day. Calling the situation normal.

The FBR was the target of a huge cyberattack on the evening of August 13, 2018. This attack broke the FBR’s website and other related platforms. But the hackers were not able to get into the taxpayer information.

Early results from FBR’s own investigation into the incident point to the use of pirated software as a factor in the company’s security breach. The tax authority’s system was easy to get into because FBR was using a pirated version of Microsoft Hyper-V at the time.

During a four-day trip to Pakistan in January 2020, Alice Wells. Who was then the top US diplomat for South Asian issues, accused the FBR of using pirated software. Warned the FBR that this could lead to a cyberattack on the tax authority’s system.

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In response, FBR said that while Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) is its service provider. It was not aware that pirated software was being used.

In March 2020, PRAL put out an invitation to bid for the purchase and installation. Setup of network equipment, servers, data center precision cooling, upgrade and support for storage area network. The backup solution, and Microsoft Windows for its data center in Custom House, Karachi.

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