In This Post
–Cybercrime Laws in Pakistan
–Cybercrime Punishment in Pakistan
–How to Report Cybercrime
–Cyber Rescue Helpline
–NR3C Salient Features
–Cybercrime Prevention Tips
Update: (July 28, 2021): As per a recently published new article by a renowned publication, the federal cabinet has given a green signal to the National Cyber Security Policy 2021, under which a national cyber security response framework will be created. The government has already established the Cyber Governance Policy Committee for the proper implementation of the new policy.
The policy is set to introduce strict actions against a cyberattack targeting any particular state institution, terming it as an “act of aggression against national sovereignty”. The main purpose of the newly approved National Cyber Security Policy is to counter the different types of incidents that involve misuse of the information and other related communication technologies that could put financial matters and the security of the country in danger.
As per the new policy, the stakeholders handling and processing information need to go all out against cyberattacks. They have been called upon to come up with fool-proof measures to protect data and information at all levels. Cybercrime monitoring and electronic identification-based security systems have been suggested in the new policy.
The new cyber security policy also urges the Ministry of Information Technology to come up with special campaigns, training, and skill development programmes to train individuals to become cyber security experts. All these initiatives will strengthen the concept of cyber defence and cyber security governance in Pakistan.
UPDATE (Feb.8, 2021): The Cybercrime Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is set to introduce a Cyber Patrolling Unit (CPU) to keep a check on what’s trending on the internet, especially social media, according to a statement made by Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Shaukat Ali in front of the National Assembly.
The budget for the new initiative has reportedly been allocated and it is expected to take off in two to three months.
Causing monetary damage in billions of US dollars to the world economy, cybercrime is now one of the major global concerns. Putting it in numbers, according to statista.com, by the end of 2019, the total monetary damage caused to the global economy by cybercriminal activities reached up to 3.5 billion US dollars, which is around 580 billion PKR.
With the rapidly increasing rate of internet penetration in our country, Pakistani authorities have also started to take necessary measures to keep people and their data safe in the online world. The more people rely on online services in our country, the more they become susceptible to internet crimes.
In this blog, we’ll learn about different categories of cybercriminal activities and cybercrime laws in Pakistan. Moreover, we’ll also get to know more about the step-by-step process of how to report cybercrime in Pakistan.
There are different types of cybercrimes, classified in the following categories:
- Identity theft
- Financial fraud
- Digital Piracy
- Computer viruses and worms
- Malicious Software
- Intellectual property rights
- Money Laundering
- Denial of Service attack
- Electronic Terrorism
Hacking: It is a type of cybercrime in which unauthorized access is gained to data in a system or computer.
Identity theft: It is the deliberate use of someone else’s identity. The term identity theft was first used in 1964.
Cyberbullying: Also known as online bullying, cyberbullying, or is a form of harassment or bullying done using electronic means.
Cyberstalking: It is the use of the internet to stalk or harass someone. It involves false accusations, slander, and defamation.
Spoofing: It is a trick in which hackers deceive computer systems to gain illegitimate advantage and steal data from personal networks or websites.
Financial fraud: It is when someone steals money or deprives others of their assets through online means.
Digital Piracy: Also known as online piracy, it involves the practice of illegally downloading and distributing digital copyrighted content.
Computer viruses and worms: They are types of malware computer programmes that replicate themselves to spread and infect computer systems.
Malware: A software designed by cybercriminals to intentionally cause damage to the server, computer, client, or network.
Intellectual property rights: Intellectual property theft is defined as online theft of content or material that is copyrighted.
Money Laundering: It involves the use of the internet to launder money through different online payment systems.
Denial of service attack (DOS attack): It is a cyberattack to disrupt the targeted server and its traffic. It makes a network resource or machine unavailable to the intended users.
Electronic terrorism: Also known as cyberterrorism, electronic terrorism involves the use of the internet for violent acts. It involves potentially threatening someone or achieving ideological or political gains.
Online Vandalism: It is the action that involves the deliberate damage and destruction of your online material. It may also involve the modification of the online content on your website without your permission.
Cybercrime Laws in Pakistan
As of now, there are three cybercrime laws in Pakistan. These laws deal with different categories of internet crimes in Pakistan. They are listed as under:
- Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) 2002
- Electronic / Cyber Crime Bill 2007
- Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016
- Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) 2002
Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) 2002
Introduced in 2002, the Electronic transactions Ordinance (ETO) came out to be the first IT-relevant legislation. It was created by national lawmakers. It was a first step that served as a solid foundation for legal sanctity and protection of the local e-Commerce industry.
A large part of this cybercrime law in Pakistan was inspired by foreign law related to cybercrime. It has 43 sections dealing with different types of internet crimes in Pakistan. This cybercrime law in Pakistan deals with the following 8 main areas related to the e-Commerce industry.
- Recognition of Electronic Documents
- Electronic Communications
- Digital Signature regime and its evidential consequences
- Website and Digital Signatures Certification Providers
- Stamp Duty
- Attestation and Notarization of Certified Copies
Electronic/Cyber Crime Bill Ordinance 2007
The Prevention of Electronic Crimes or Cybercrimes Ordinance (PECO) was passed in 2007. This cybercrime law in Pakistan deals with the following electronic crimes:
- Cyber Terrorism
- Data Damage
- Electronic Fraud
- Electronic Forgery
- Unauthorised Access
According to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes or Cybercrimes Ordinance (PECO), cyber criminals in Pakistan may have to face different penalties. They may include six months of imprisonment to sometimes even capital punishment for various types of cybercrimes. The laws apply to every person who commits cybercrimes in Pakistan irrespective of their nationality or citizenship.
Prevention of Electronic Crimes Acts (2016)
The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) was introduced in 2016. It provides a comprehensive framework for various types of cybercrime in Pakistan. It is one of those cybercrime laws in Pakistan that is in accordance with the Cyber Crime Bill 2007. It deals with the following internet crimes in Pakistan:
- Illegal Access of Data (Hacking)
- Denial of Service Attack (DOS Attack)
- Electronic Forgery and Electronic Fraud
The Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) offers the below-given penalties for cyber criminals in Pakistan
- Up to three years of imprisonment, 1 million PKR fine, or both for accessing critical information systems without authorisation.
- Up to seven years of imprisonment, PKR 10 million fine or both for disruption of critical information systems with dishonest or fraudulent intentions.
- Up to seven years of imprisonment, PKR 10 million fine or both for involvement in offence related to terrorism.
- Up to six months of imprisonment, PKR 50 thousand fine or both for importing, exporting or supplying an electronic device for offensive use.
- Up to three years of imprisonment, PKR 5 million fine or both for involvement in data breach. It may include the online distribution of someone’s personal data without consent.
Cybercrimes Punishments in Pakistan
Details regarding punishments for cybercrimes in Pakistan have been listed as under:
|Type of Cybercrime||Punishment|
|Data Damage||3 years imprisonment or PKR 3 lac fine|
|Electronic Fraud||7 years imprisonment or PKR 7 lac fine|
|Electronic Forgery||7 years imprisonment or PKR 7 lac fine|
|Malicious Code||5 years imprisonment or PKR 5 lac fine|
|Cyberstalking||3 years imprisonment or PKR 3 lac fine|
|Spamming||3 years imprisonment or PKR 3 lac fine|
|Spoofing||6 months imprisonment or PKR 50 thousand fine|
|Cyberterrorism||10 years imprisonment or PKR 10 million fine|
How to Report Cybercrime in Pakistan (National Response Centre for Cyber Crime)
The National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NR3C) comes under the supervision of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). It acts as a cyber law enforcement body in Pakistan. If you’re wondering how to report cybercrime in Pakistan then NR3C is the right platform. As per the official website, the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime has expertise in NR3C in Digital Forensics, Information System Security Audits, Technical Investigation, Penetration Testing, and relevant training.
How to Lodge a Cybercrime Complaint in Pakistan through NR3C
If you navigate through NR3C’s official website, you’ll see that there’s a dedicated section to report computer crime. By clicking on the link to that section, you’ll be redirected to the FIA web page as shown in the screenshot. Here’s you’ll fill all the required information and attach any relevant material. This is how to lodge a cybercrime complaint in Pakistan through NR3C.
To get updates on the progress of your cybercrime complaint, you can simply use the following contact details of the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime in Pakistan
Contact number: 051-9106384 or 03366006060
Email address: email@example.com
Address (Where you can send your written applications): NR3C-FIA, National Police Foundation Building, 2nd Floor, G-10/4, Mauve Area, Islamabad
Note: Write your application to file a complaint against cybercrime in Pakistan in the name of the Director of NR3C.
Cyber Rescue Helpline
Wondering how to file a complaint against cybercrime in Pakistan? Well, NR3C has introduced another convenience for internet users in the form of a 24/7 complaint helpline.
Cyber Rescue Helpline: 9911
Note: The helpline number for reporting cybercrimes in Pakistan can be dialed from both mobile devices and landline connections.
NR3C Salient Features
Now that you have learned how to file a complaint against cybercrime in Pakistan, let’s learn more about the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime in Pakistan. We’ll go through some of its salient features mentioned on its website. They have been categorised as the institution’s achievements like how it is dealing with cyber criminals in Pakistan. Also, it mentions the training, research and development programmes NR3C offers.
- Training Programmes
- Research and Development
- Successful raids and crackdowns on illegal grey traffickers having VOIP setups, averting a loss of around PKR 3 billion per month to the government.
- Handled tonnes of complaints related to cyberharassment and online defamation.
- NR3C has successfully dealt with many cases related to internet frauds & scams
- Provided technical facilitation related to cybercrime cases requiring audio and video forensic analysis
- Responded to grievances faced by the financial sector. These may include banking/ATM frauds, credit card frauds, and internet banking frauds.
- Provides technical training on digital forensics, internet crimes, information security to law enforcement agencies.
- Conducts awareness workshops and informative seminars at renowned academic institutes as well as corporate organizations
- Skill development training based on digital forensic comprehension for proper interpretation of forensic data, computer crime, laws applications, and evidence extraction methods.
- Over 12,000 individuals from all over the country have been trained by NR3C to serve the purpose of cybercrime mitigation.
Research and Development
- Developed a tool that tracks and identifies the location of e-mails from unknown sources
- Developed a software application to manage forensic requests
- Developed software application for cybercrime complaints management and tracking
- Helped law enforcement agencies in tracking down mobile phones with duplicate IMEI number.
- Contributed to a research paper published in the Journal of American Science, which was published in 2010. It was titled “DataMining Methodology in Perspective of Manufacturing Databases”.
Cyber scouts in Pakistan are specially trained and devoted individuals that help the nation fight internet crimes. They are mostly chosen from a certain age group, mostly teenagers and young adults. They are provided with special training at NR3C to undertake the following duties and responsibilities
Duties and Responsibilities of Cyber Scouts in Pakistan
- Provide cybercrime awareness training and
- Help people with the process of reporting cybercrimes in Pakistan
- Inform people about computer crime preventive measures
- Share information with nr3c
- Promote careful and responsible use of cyberspace
- Direct and help individuals to report cybercrime
- Monitor cyberspace
- Encourage the rightful use of technology
Cybercrime Prevention Tips
Here are some useful cybercrime prevention tips
Secure Your Smart Phones
- Always use a strong password to secure your smartphone
- Turn on the automatic lock on your device
- Install an antivirus or other security software
- Only download apps from verified sources
- Check for all apps permissions
- Don’t miss operating system security updates
- Be wary of any spam links you receive through email or text message
- Turn off your automatic Wi-Fi connection mode
- When browsing or shopping online on your smartphone or computer, always look for “https” in the URL.
Secure Your Online Banking
- Never use the same PIN CODE for different bank accounts
- Avoid using PCs at cyber cafes for any type of internet banking
- Never keep your pin code and debit/credit cards together
- Never leave the computer unattended while accessing your bank account
- Always register for Mobile SMS, and Email Transaction Alerts
- Never reply to emails or messages asking your password or pin code
- Visit the e-banking website by typing the URL in the address bar
- Log out and close your browser after you are done using e-banking services
- Always conceal keypad when using ATM before entering pin code
- Look around to make sure that there is no extra device installed in the surroundings of ATM
Secure Your Social Media
- Use extra security features to access your account (security code, Login alert etc)
- Turn on login notification alert
- Allow only specific individuals to view your contents (videos, photos, tagged locations, and friends, etc.)
- Control and monitor who can contact you
- Block your profile from all search engines
Secure Your Wi-Fi
- First thing first, change the default administrator usernames and passwords of your wi-fi router
- Use a complex password and keep changing your password in regular intervals
- Turn off your Network / Wi-Fi routers when not in use to stay safe from computer crime.
Secure Your Browsing
- Check your browser’s privacy settings
- Never trust any free online content
- Don’t provide personal information to get something free online
- Avoid clicking on links inside e-mails or messages
Now that we have given you all the useful information regarding cybercrime laws in Pakistan and the nature of cybercrimes they deal with, it’s time for us to wrap up this piece. For your queries and suggestions, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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