The Central Public Works Department has been facing a spate of targeted cyberattacks on computers across its offices, according to an advisory it issued to employees last week, reiterating earlier cybersecurity guidelines.
“References are being received from security agencies of Government of India regarding targeted attacks on the compromised computers in various CPWD offices for collection of sensitive information. Frequency of such references has increased in past few months,” the CPWD said in an office memorandum issued on July 8.
It added that the references from security agencies are being sent to the regional heads of CPWD for analysing the root cause and sanitisation of devices. Reports are also sought on compliance. However, the CPWD said action with regard to the references is not being taken in a timely manner and the reports are getting “delayed abnormally”. The office memorandum informed employees that the CPWD “can’t question the findings of security agencies who are tracking such incidents”.
Reiterating earlier guidelines, including one issued on May 13, the CPWD asked employees to follow the cyber security measures. “Any consequences arising out of such delay shall be the responsibility of concerned official (sic),” the office memo stated.
A CPWD official told The Hindu that one or two such instances are being observed every month from various offices. The official said the CPWD has about 2,000 offices across the country and employees are being reminded to follow the cybersecurity rules. The official further said CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) is tracking the attacks.
A construction agency that functions under the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, the CPWD has carried out many prominent projects in the past and is currently building the new Parliament and the Central Secretariat buildings in Delhi. The agency also constructs vital border roads in Ladakh.