A plan was afoot to deploy a specialised cyber wing in every district to counter the growing cyber threat in the country. (DC Image)
NEW DELHI: With the aim of countering emerging cyber attacks on the government’s key institutions and critical infrastructure in the country, the Union home ministry is considering setting up a "specialised cyber wing" in each district of India.
According to officials in the loop on this development, the government’s move came after the recent AIIMS software hacking incident. A plan was afoot to deploy a specialised cyber wing in every district to counter the growing cyber threat in the country.
This issue was discussed threadbare with states’ and Union territories’ top police officials at the recent DGPs/IGPs conference, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah. The states have agreed to set up such units.
They also said that the states were informed on how this new wing will counter any possible cyber attack on critical government infrastructures and institutions and how select police personnel will be trained by the institutions such as CERT-In, the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
The officials also said training modules are being finalised and senior officials from state police training departments will be first to be trained and, in turn, they will train district police officials once the "cyber unit" is set up.
According to the 2022 data, government institutions in India faced 82 cases of cyber attack, eight times more than in 2021.
According to the plan, the special unit is likely to be known as "Cyber Warrior" or "Cyber Commandos", and would be separate from personnel working in cyber police stations or units. They may extend help to the regular cyber cells in the police stations if needed, the officials said.
The new cyber unit in districts will keep eye on the activities of hackers from hostile countries and monitor ransomware threats too, the officials said, adding that the unit will have legal and administrative support.