Cyber Attacks in Indian Railways
Cyber-attacks are increasing in frequency and severity due to the development of information and communication technologies and their extensive usage in infrastructures. In industries including banking, health, grid, retail, government, telecommunications, transportation, etc., there are more sophisticated cybersecurity attacks with automated capabilities. Railway stakeholders are being affected by an increase in cyberattacks on the industry as a whole. Examples of these impacts include a threat to the safety of workers, passengers, or the general public; loss of sensitive railway information; infrastructure damages; reputational harm; financial loss; incorrect decisions; and loss of dependability.
Digital Infrastructure of Indian Railways
Since information and communication technologies (ICT) have been used so widely, many enterprises now have serious concerns about cybersecurity. Earlier study from this project uncovered a number of cybersecurity problems and difficulties in the railroad industry. Cyberattacks are becoming more intense, posing a threat to vital infrastructures and raising worries about the safety of workers or the general public. Other worries include the loss of private information, harm to one’s reputation, financial loss, poor judgments, loss of reliability, etc.
To protect and strengthen crucial infrastructures in this industry, proactive and coordinated measures are needed. To guarantee that advancements in cybersecurity, railway system architects, cybersecurity engineers, and information technology (IT) workers that support railway information systems must take cybersecurity seriously Cyber vulnerabilities don’t put maintainability, operational effectiveness, or passenger experience at risk.
Cybersecurity risk to railway systems
A cyberattack on a South Korean subway system in 2015 resulted in data and information leaks, while the Swedish Transport Agency also had a significant data breach that exposed private car data. A private security firm called Darktrace identified UK Rail had had at least four significant data breaches in 2015 in July. These hacks included cyber espionage attempts that entailed breaking into computer systems handling sensitive government information and vital infrastructure in order to obtain data. Another incident occurred in May 2017 when the WannaCry virus infected the railway passenger information system.
In railways organization, there are two categories of cybersecurity threats: economic risks and social hazards. Business risks include things like income loss, reputational damage/loss of confidence, noncompliance with data protection laws, hazards to hardware and software, reliance on false information, and lack of dependents’ security .
Public health and safety, lack of railroad service, social unrest, environmental effects, and privacy and secrecy are a few examples of societal dangers.
Utilizing Computers on Indian Railways
The automated passenger reservation system PRS system makes booking and cancelling easier. from any of the 4000 terminals (i.e. PRS booking windows) spread out across the nation. The Countrywide Network of Computerized Enhanced PRS Application CONCERT The largest in the entire globe is Reservation and Ticketing. online reservation system, created and CRIS, the IT division of the Indian Railways.
Along with the aforementioned, there is the IRCTC website. The government-run Indian Railways Corp. operates the IRCTC e-ticketing and hospitality platform. It is India’s largest e-commerce platform, issuing more than 500,000 tickets and other types of transactions per day. IRCTC sells 500,000 tickets every month and has a user base of 39 million, according to data from its website, which receives 50 million monthly views. More than 58% of train accommodations are booked using electronic tickets. An official Android mobile ticketing software from Indian Railways called UTS is used to purchase unreserved train tickets.
The Challenge of Cyber Crime for Law Enforcement
Given the dangers presented by cyber threats, the rise in cyber-attack events, and the evolution of the modus operandi, it is imperative that RPF, working with the relevant railway departments, take the necessary precautions to safeguard the systems and data.
- Cyber intrusions that are promptly reported help to identify the offender and limit the harm done. The majority of cybercrime remains undetected, which over time compromises the integrity of cyberspace.
- RPF requires professional detectives, the newest digital evidence-collecting tools, qualified forensic examiners, and public prosecutors with experience in cybercrime in order to investigate and prosecute cybercrime [5-6].
Growth in the Future
- The railways have devised a planned strategy to remove bottlenecks and increase capacity to meet the demand. The key areas of focus would be up gradation of infrastructure, modernization of wagons technology, advanced signaling and telecommunication, induction of high horsepower locomotives, grade separation and usage of information technology to decrease transit times and reduce unit operational cost. The railways also propose to construct state of the art passenger and freight terminals.
- The railways are also planning to build a super specialty hospital in Patna. If successful, the concept would be extended to other parts of the country.
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