As a preventive step to check the hacking of the official websites by hackers, the Jammu and Kashmir Government on Wednesday issued an advisory over the misuse of identities of senior-level government functionaries through emails, and telephone numbers on platforms like Whatsapp and other messaging applications for conveying instructions and directions by cybercriminals.
Authorities have taken this step because recently some hackers have been targeting government departments by hacking official websites. The advisory has been issued by Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Principal Secretary of the General Administration Department of the J&K Government.
“Instances of cyber crimes like hacking, phishing, identity theft, etc are being reported on a daily basis from every nook and corner of the country. The number of these crimes have proliferated due to the extensive and unrestricted availability of data and access to technical know-how available on the internet,” reads a circular issued by the government.
Government organizations and authorities have especially been targets of these activities for a variety of reasons, the circular, underlines.
“Of late such instances have been reported from various officers/officials of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, wherein, identities of senior-level UT functionaries are being used along with emails, and telephone numbers on platforms like Whatsapp and other messaging applications for conveying instructions/directions,” it reads.
Cybercriminals misusing the identities of senior officers
The seriousness of the matter has necessitated issuing circular instructions to all the Departments to ensure that the identities of government functionaries are not misused by the cybercriminals.
Accordingly, the government enjoined all Administrative Secretaries, HoDs, and Managing Directors of various Government Organizations and Corporations to authenticate any instructions or direction received from any government functionary before processing or acting upon them.
“The department shall also sensitize their officers/officials regarding these cyber-attacks/frauds,” the circular reads, adding, “Onus of any adverse result of acting upon these unverified instructions/directions shall lie with the concerned officer/official. No action should be taken with respect to such messages that violate rules/instructions/guidelines under any pretext”.