The Indian Railways has asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block 19 websites over concerns of misuse of a software on its catering and tourism portal for tatkal booking, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha that the misuse of the automation system on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation's (IRCTC) web portal - www.irctc.co.in - has been reported to the ministry and steps were being taken to counter it, including the blocking of suspected websites.
The 19 websites included myrailinfo.in, www.tatkalaap.com and www.tatkalsoftservice.com, according to a statement.
"The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, was requested to block the above websites. IRCTC has also lodged complaints at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Lucknow with respective cyber crime cells. The issue has also been brought to the notice of Central Bureau of Investigation by the Railway Board Vigilance for further investigation," Goyal said.
Recently, the CBI had filed an FIR against its own staff and others following the allegation of unauthorised carrying out of business of procuring and supplying of railway tickets using illegal software.
Goyal said the technical teams of Centre for Railway Information System and IRCTC have investigated the matter and informed that none of the system checks have been bypassed by use of these softwares.
He added that the softwares only facilitate quick data entry as compared to the time taken by an individual.
"Multilayer security with Deep Defence is implemented in the e-ticketing system. It comprises of frontend and backend firewall... Consultations have been held with National Technical Research Organisation for further strengthening the security of the system," the minister said.