The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday claimed that the global financial turmoil has encouraged the “Internet underworld” that is engulfing the globe. “The development is enhancing the cost of doing business everywhere and creating new challenges for the already dull economies,” said President PEW Dr Murtaza Mughal while talking to journalists here.
“The government should immediately form a high-powered task force, upgrade the existing set-up and launch awareness campaign about the expanding online criminal market set to hurt limping businesses,” he added.
“We have compiled a detailed report filed on facts collected by the PEW. According to the report, a visible hike in the internet criminal activities and card frauds have been noticed in Pakistan and other parts of the world. The private sector should also come forward and cooperate as it would be the major loser by the end of the day,” he said.
Dr Mughal claimed that due to the situation, the year 2009 may see an increase in identity thefts, credit and debit card frauds, network breaches, phishing, unauthorised telecom interceptions and database accesses, damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration and suppression of critical information, misuse of devices, forgery, spam, adware, malware, Trojans, worms, viruses, frauds, threats, and online attacks. “Supported by the abilities of disgruntled IT employees, the underworld is now bolder and more sophisticated. They operate from the West but prefer to hit the East where the level of IT knowledge is alluring for them,” he said and added that the companies and websites offering stolen financial data have hiked prices manifold due to increased demand by unemployed IT experts.