The fear is that the hackers could have access to at least 1 crore email IDs and mobile numbers

IRCTC website feared hacked valuable data could have been stolenImage for representation
news Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 08:09

In what could be a major hack, the data of around 1 crore customers of the e-ticketing portal of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), is feared to have been stolen. 

However, IRCTC denied any such breach into their systems.

The Indian Express quoted IRCTC PRO Sandip Dutta saying, “There has been no hacking attempt on the site. A high-level committee has been formed to probe the matter. We have requested the cyber cell to give us details of the so-called data theft.” 

The website is used by thousands of people every day, and holds a lot of information on its server with respect to these transactions.

The Times of India quoted a source as saying:

"The data is a valuable asset and can be sold to corporations who may use it for targeting potential consumers."

The newspaper also reported that Maharashtra's additional chief secretary (home), KP Bakshi, confirmed to TOI that the state police had alerted the railways, but refused to give any more details.

The Bangalore Mirror however, reported that a high-level meeting was held in Delhi on Tuesday night to discuss the issue and also quoted A K Manocha, Managing Director of IRCTC, saying that he has written to Delhi police's cyber cell to inquire into the matter. 

The report adds:

The fear among the authorities is that the hacker could have access to at least 1 crore email IDs and mobile numbers. The data will command a huge price among companies in the era of aggressive tele-marketing...Sources said that it is unlikely that credit card or bank data would have been compromised.

The IRCTC has been a subject of many hacks in the past. Last week, a man who used to hack into IRCTC to generate fake tickets was arrested from Dakshan Darwaza area in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Basti town.

Last month, the Indian Railways ordered a thorough cyber audit of all its facilities as it feared that it was vulnerable to online hackers.

“We have ordered for a cyber audit of the entire online network linked with the rail operation in India. Audit will be conducted in each of the 16 zones of Indian Railways and measures will be taken to make the system foolproof,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had said.


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