'Technical issues' bring driving licence dept to a standstill

Officials deny reports of cyber attack on the system


Faraz Khan February 16, 2018
26 branches of the driving licence are interlinked with the central driving licence office in Karachi. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Hundreds of citizens intending to apply for driving licences from driving licence branches across the province returned home empty-handed on Fridaydue to the 'sudden' suspension of the Sindh police's online driving licence system. Reports circulating in the media suggested that the system was attacked by Russian hackers. However, authorities did not confirm such reports.

Traffic Licensing and Training DIG Farhat Ali Junejo issued a statement claiming that the driving licensing branch system software had crashed due to technical problems in the main server.

Twenty-six branches of the driving licence department are linked to the central server at the Central Police Office. On Friday, the central server's access to the branches was disconnected, causing failure in the issuance and verification process of driving licences.

According to police officials, two teams of the police's IT department were working to restore the system. The officials said that in the first phase, driving licence branches in Karachi will be restored while branches outside the provincial capital will be made functional in the second phase. The reason behind the suspension of the system will be ascertained after the IT experts have resolved the issue, the officials added.

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Though some media reports suggested that the system was hacked by cyber attackers, the relevant authorities denied such news. "There was some technical fault which will be resolved by the Saturday evening," said Driving Licence Nazimabad Branch Incharge Fahmida Abbasi.

The Sindh police's driving licence mobile application also stopped working due to the suspension. The application is used by the police to verify driving licences and seek other information.

Around 1,000 permanent and 1,200 temporary driving licences are issued daily by the 26 branches in the province including three branches in Karachi located in Clifton, Nazimabad and Korangi. Around 400 international licences are also issued by these branches in a month.

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