ISLAMABAD - The National Telecom Authority has rejected the reports that communications of top military and civil leadership were compromised.

The NTA officials claimed that the Green Line Communication Network is a dedicated standalone hardware intensive system with no connectivity with internet cloud.

“The Green Line Exchanges of NTC are connected with secure fiber link having no link with public Switching System of NTC or any other telecom operators. Therefore, the possibility of any intrusion on main communication lines under question is ruled out and accessing these exchanges through internet or implanting any malware is extremely remote,” NTA officials said.

A top source told The Nation that green exchange allegation was wrong as data could be hacked, not TDM-based set-up, where it was only voice.

“Voice calls can be intercepted by eavesdropping, or by installing software, (which spy agencies use to listen to mobile communication),” he said.

“In eavesdropping gadgets are installed close to target, which could be mobile and fixed as well.”

He admitted that telephone and mobile calls could be hacked by gadgets and according to him, local and foreign agencies use this method to hear conversation.

According to official, after 9/11, the US embassy has installed state-of-the-art gadgets inside the embassy capable of spying any desired communication.

It is a general perception that Pakistan’s military communication can be easily hacked, as it is using USA or Britain made gadgets for communication.

It is not true, the official claimed, he said use of British or US made equipment is on limited level and for communication between troops, all secret communication is made through secured lines.

He said the NTC is using China and German made equipment, which cannot be hacked by US or other western countries.

Government exchanges use costly firewalls to secure official lines, however, if some organisations are having connection from PTCL, or Nayatel, that might be insecure as private companies don’t spend much on securing the system by installing costly firewalls, he said.

Hacking and cyber security are considered big challenges for Pakistan, relying heavily on imported hardware, struggling hard, without any professional long term planning and insight in information technology sector.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global information Technology report, 2013, Pakistan ranked 105 out of 144 countries in the world, in terms of overall network readiness.

The recent revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden made headlines in national and international media that US security agency had been spying on Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership for decades.

The documents obtained by an American news outlet The Intercept, stated that United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) used a malware, SECONDDATE to breach, communication of Pakistan’s National Telecommunications Corporation’s VIP Division.

According to reports, the NSA used this malware to intercept web requests, redirects browsers on target computers to an agency web server. The server then infects the web requests with malware.

The attacking malware is attached to the online anonymity network called TOR, which directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide network of more than 7,000 relays. It also conceals user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance.

An infected computer responds to FOXACID servers, without the knowledge of its users and continues to provide eavesdropping information to the agency as long as it remains infected.

The documents reveal that SECONDDATE is just one method used by the NSA to hack into target computer systems and networks.

It is not the first time that the whistle blower has leaked high profile hacking in Pakistan. Last year, documents revealed British intelligence had gained access to almost all the country's Internet users.