As the global stage awaits the imminent G20 Summit scheduled in New Delhi, India, the nation is diligently preparing to fortify its defenses against potential cyber threats posed by groups with affiliations to Pakistan and other entities hostile to India.”
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will play a pivotal role in maintaining the safety of Delhi’s airspace against hacker drones in the upcoming G20 Summit.
Given the participation of more than 50 VVIPs and numerous VIPs from around the world, there is a heightened concern that hackers might exploit the occasion as an opportunity to target these prominent attendees.
In a recent collaborative meeting, key stakeholders such as the Airport Authority of India, Bureau of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Defence convened to strategize the security protocols against hackers for the G20 Summit security.
Indian Air Force to bolster G20 Summit security
During this crucial meeting, it was unanimously agreed upon that the responsibility of safeguarding Indian airspace over Delhi would be entrusted to the Indian Air Force.
Since hacking has become the new weapon for state-backed criminals, especially those groups who support anti-India propaganda, several authorities are preparing to tackle hacker groups from Pakistan and other nations.
The Summit is scheduled to unfold on September 9 and 10, and the Indian Air Force will be on high alert.
Big events such as G20 are always susceptible to cyberattacks with an aim to damage the image of the Summit or the host country. But foolproof cybersecurity has been created, and every activity is being watched,” a spokesperson from the G20 summit security team told Hindustan Times.
We are even ready to foil technically advanced hacking attacks such as entering the security systems or accessing the CCTV footage of the G20 event and meeting venues,” they added.
The spokesperson closely associated with airport operations revealed the comprehensive security plan.
According to this plan, Indian Air Force fighter planes will remain on standby mode, poised to respond promptly to any emergency situation.
Their watch over the event extends to monitoring the skies for any criminal activity involving Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones, ensuring that potential threats are stopped before they can harm the attendees and speakers.
Close coordination among all agencies vested with the responsibility of airspace and airport safety has been emphasized to seamlessly execute the G20 summit security plan. This collaborative approach guarantees the highest security and preparedness level during the G20 Summit.
The Air Traffic Control (ATC) has been issued instructions to increase its security and precision throughout the duration of the Summit, leaving no loopholes for the hacker group to crack.
All flight routes entering Delhi will be meticulously monitored, and in case of any unforeseen emergency, a contingency plan has been put in place. The plan involves diverting flights to four alternative airports, thus mitigating risks and ensuring swift response mechanisms.
Heightened Security Measures Enforced for G20 Summit
Elaborating on the logistical aspects of the security plan, a senior official highlighted that all aircraft and private jets ferrying VVIPs would be stationed at Delhi airport.
Moreover, provisions have been meticulously made for the accommodation of aircraft of utmost importance, such as Air Force One, at the secure premises of Palam Air Force Station, a stronghold under the watch of the Air Force itself.
As part of the security measures, the Delhi airport operator has been requested to take necessary steps to streamline operations and avoid passenger inconveniences arising from VIP arrivals. The goal is to strike a balance between ensuring top-notch security for VIPs and ensuring no hacking or cyber espionage activities could take place.
Moreover, as an extra precautionary measure, Delhi Police has issued a notice outlining the no-fly zone and prohibition of certain flying items within the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The prohibition includes sub-conventional aerial platforms like paragliders, paramotors, hang gliders, and UAVs. Many of these machines and items are often associated with hacking and terrorist activities, which would be the main concern for ensuring the G20 summit security.
This preventive measure is effective from August 29, 2023, and will remain in force for 15 days until September 12, 2023. Those found violating this order are liable to face legal consequences under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 188.
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