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Hi-tech racket in net banking busted

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C. Sridhar
C. Sridhar

S. Vijay Kumar

CHENNAI: Officials of the Crime Branch CID on Tuesday busted a racket that allegedly stole personal information from the computer of an industrialist and took away Rs.26 lakh from his net banking account.

According to sources in the agency, the industrialist, S. Salahudeen, lodged a complaint with the Additional Director General of Police (CBCID) Archana Ramasundaram on November 5 that Rs.26.55 lakh was fraudulently transferred from his account through net banking in July and August last year. The Cyber Crime Cell police registered a case under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act, 2008.

Investigation revealed that the money was withdrawn through 19 transactions from the account of Mr. Salahudeen. When the server log of the victim’s bank was scrutinised, it came to light that the hackers used computer systems connected to networks managed by Internet Service Providers of Nigeria, Canada, Israel, Poland and United Kingdom.

The agency wrote to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Interpol to get the user details of the connection availed by the suspects. It was found that the complainant had not received any phishing mail and the accused managed to steal his personal information by using techniques like key loggers, screen loggers and Trojan virus to capture the keyboard strokes and take the desired information from the computer of Salahudeen.

Investigators found that eight ‘money mules’ were appointed across the country (Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Sangli in Maharashtra) for transferring the stolen money. The money mules into whose accounts the money would be transferred would take 8-10 per cent as commission and transfer the remaining money to the hackers.

One of the money mules, C. Sridhar of Adambakkam, working as Director (Technical) in a private firm, had given his bank account to the hackers and received Rs.4 lakh from the complainant’s bank account. Sridhar took some commission and transferred the rest of the money to an account in Jaipur. The accused was arrested in Ranipet in Vellore district on Monday.

Timely intervention of the police and bank officials helped in the complainant getting back part of the stolen money, the sources said and added that further investigation was on to trace other money mules and hackers involved in the fraud.

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