Indian Railways to have its own full-fledged Cyber Cell

The RPF seek Railway Board to put in place elaborate Cyber Security arrangements at the Railway Board, Railway Zones and important stations across the country including Mumbai, to prevent 26/11-like terrorist attacks.

NEW DELHI: The Railway Board has decided to have its own full-fledged cyber cell and constituted a committee to work out modalities, a top Railway Protection Force (RPF) official said.

He said Railways has received 70 lakh applications for 9,000 vacancies in the RPF for which recruitment is currently underway. “Within the Railways there will be dedicated security teams, whose job it is to monitor Indian Railway systems and networks to deter, detect and respond to cyber threats and recover IR systems should a cyber incident occur, getting them up and running again as quickly as possible. The approach to security is holistic, and IR will recognise that the value of any technical and process controls is only realised when there is a shared security culture across the organisation. Nominated Teams at Indian Railways completes mandatory security training, which includes cyber security, and IR shall regularly conduct cyber security awareness campaigns so that the staff understand and recognise potential threats and risks to cyber systems and our infrastructure,” he said.

“The Railway Board has constituted a committee which represents the RPF also to set up a cyber cell. Such a cell is needed not only for the RPF but also for entire Railway security, for commercial activities, for tendering process kind of works. “Therefore, it has been decided to have a cyber cell at the Railway Board level,” said Arun Kumar, Director General of RPF.

“And we have said the cell should function under the RPF. Let the committee take a call on this,” he said. Kumar was in the city to review security measures and coordination with other agencies, including the GRP. Addressing reporters, he said, “Besides having a general cyber cell of Railways at a central location, we also required to have own cyber cell at zonal and divisional levels.”

The 1985-batch IPS officer said the RPF plans to put in place elaborate security arrangements at important stations across the country including Mumbai, to prevent 26/11-like terrorist attacks, he said.

He said, “Under the Integrated Security System(ISS), several state-of-the-art and technical devises and instruments such as DFMD, HHMD, CCTV cameras have been installed.

“In addition to this, we have trained commandos deployed as a Quick Response Team (QRT) and bulletproof bunkers have also been installed at 30 stations of Western Railway and 17 stations at Central Railway,” he said.

The officer said the RPF has taken measures to curb activities of touts.

“To curb touting, we had conducted a countrywide drive on November 2 at 110 cities and our team successfully seized tickets generated produced through duplicate software. We seized railway tickets worth Rs 12 crore and arrested 600 offenders,” Kumar said.

Explaining the modus operandi of such offenders, Kumar said through their own software, they first partially hack IRCTC’s website, book available tickets and sell them through social media platforms.