Thursday, 18 August 2022
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TAXATION

FBR issues clarification on use of pirated software

After conducting a preliminary internal investigation on the recent FBR cyber-attack, it has been discovered that the use of pirated software was one of the reasons why FBR’s data got hacked. Following the revelation, FBR has issued a clarification on the news aired by leading news channels concerning the employment of pirated software by the revenue board for its systems.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued a clarification on the news aired by a leading news channel regarding use of pirated software by FBR for its systems. FBR has clarified that IT services for Federal and Provincial tax authorities such as FBR, SRB, PRA etc are being provided by PRAL which also includes maintaining the data centers. In the data centers there are numerous software products which are being used to perform different functions such as cyber security, virtualization, firewall, etc. Key companies whose products are being utilized include Oracle, Microsoft, VMware, Kaspersky etc.

FBR has clarified that the licensed versions of these softwares have been procured. FBR has added that the original license of the product remains intact, if the support to the software expires. However, at times support for these services may not get renewed in a timely fashion due to unavoidable circumstances.

FBR has clarified that in year 2019, issue of VMware licensing was raised by US Government, which was addressed by procuring the requisite licenses after following relevant procedures as laid down in PPRA rules. For over a year no such issue regarding VMware has cropped up, FBR added.

US Diplomat Had Warned FBR of a Possible Cyber Attack

In addition to this, the investigation also revealed that last year in January, Alice Wells, the then chief US diplomat for South Asian affairs, while a four-day visit to Pakistan, cited FBR of using a pirated software and informed the FBR about the possibility of a cyberattack on the tax authority’s system due to the application of a pirated software.

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