Don’t give info on Army movement over phones, IB tells Railways

Ambala:  An alert issued by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to the railway authorities has brought to light that Pakistan Intelligence Operatives (PIOs) have again succeeded in obtaining security-related tactical and strategic information by means of telephonic calls made under assumed identity of Indian defence officials from railway employees.

In August last year, IB had stumbled upon information that the PIOs had managed to extract vital information related to deployment and movement of defence forces by making calls under assumed identifies of senior defence officers. In order to camouflage their calls, the PIOs used software and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) to ensure that the mobile phones of the target showed the incoming calls to be originating from Indian numbers.

The PIOs were able to extract sensitive information from the unsuspecting Indian nationals by using this technique.

At that time, the IB had written a letter to the railway authorities asking them not to share any information related to the movement of the Army through trains over the phone.

However, even after a year, the IB found that the PIO were still active and using the same modus operandi to extract vital information. In yet another communication sent to the railway authorities recently, the IB stated that PIO had again been “successful in ferreting out sensitive information having serious implications for the national security.”

The IB had issued strict directions to the railway authorities to sensitise their employees not to pass any information about the movement of Army trains other than the authorised person. The IB said, “Station masters and supervisors are required to be briefed to handle the telephonic calls in a cautious manner to prevent divulgence of important information.”

The IB had also asked the authorities to ensure that “the staff may be directed to follow the practice of calling the unknown callers to ascertain their identity and phone number.”