News is circulating that a group of hackers calling themselves Pak Mad Hunters have hacked as many as 18 of Pakistan’s government websites, including the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Defence Production. What message did the hackers post? "All the corrupt and traitor ministers pawned. Message delivered to Pakistan government".

Who are these mad hunters? Did the TTP whisk some Dexter off to Fata to take its warfare onto next stage? Is it another Y2K kid who had nothing better to do with his tablet, or some frustrated saboteur climbing up the success ladder in an obscure, encrypted location in Central Europe.

Sadly, we the Pakistanis, or those who have taken on themselves the divine right to run the state, who congratulate themselves on having nuclear-tipped missiles on the go, brag of being the one and only citadel of faith, turn away from the reality that we are utterly unaware of basic safeguards and protection techniques to save us from such embarrassments. Far be it for us to indigenously produce simple software that can guard sensitive government sites, it seems that we don’t think we need it!

While the government and the IT ministry congratulate themselves on finding and blocking thousands of porn sites, YouTube, amateur propaganda blogs, and much else, our very real vulnerabilities go totally ignored. The political classes seem not to have the capacity to understand the effects of allowing a clergy mindset to dictate an essentially scientific ministry’s agenda, but as we gird up our belts to police cyberspace against vulgarity, profanities and modernity we are totally oblivious to the real dangers in the present day virtual world. Trapped in some ancient world of caves and castles where ignorance, aversion to science and above all change and reason are sermonized every day; and the challenges of the new world are not understood.

While we bicker over YouTube and scramble day and night to come up with its Islamised version, hackers are finding their way into secret corridors of I-data with the not so far-fetched possibility of affecting citizen data and state secrecy, possibly in ways we have not as yet imagined.

Cyber security is not protection against porn, or a dozen guards at the door. The IT ministry's astounding failure to understand the nature of their responsibility, is evidenced in the recent hacking of 18 government websites – if it wasn’t already obvious in the continued blocking of YouTube, and the overly zealous and self-righteous pursuit of pornography.