Syndicate involved in hacking online tests busted

Six accused, who used Russian hackers to access competitive exam portals, in net

January 06, 2022 01:05 am | Updated 01:05 am IST - NEW DELHI

Six persons were arrested after an online examination hacking and solving module was busted, the Delhi police said on Wednesday.

Russian hackers were also used by the syndicate to get access to various examination portals, said the police.

DCP (Cyber Unit) K.P.S. Malhotra said the accused have been identified as Arshad Dhunna, 39, Salman Dhunna, 28, and Hemal Shah, 42, all residents of Mumbai, Kunal Goel, 39, a resident of Delhi, Mohit Sharma, 35, and Raj Teotia, 33, both residents of Karnal in Haryana.

The police said that Teotia had a reward of ₹1 lakh on his arrest from Haryana and was also wanted by the CBI.

The police received a tip-off that a few syndicates were involved in unauthorised access to various competitive exams like GMAT, JEE, among others, and were charging a hefty amount for getting the candidates the desired score.

During investigation, the accused were contacted and a deal for cracking GMAT exam was struck with them, the police said. The exam was registered in the name of a decoy police officer, fees was submitted and the slot for the exam was booked, the police said, adding that a token money for the deal was also deposited in the bank account asked by the accused.

On December 26, the day of the exam, the accused asked the decoy candidate to download a software “Ultraviewer” to gain remote access of the candidate’s laptop. They also connected the candidate’s laptop to the solver who attempted the exam and evaded detection from the proctor and other safety measures, the police said.

Mumbai-based syndicate

The hacker got the access to the laptop and disguised the remote access file as a system file. The decoy candidate scored 780 out of 800, which is 97% of the total, a good enough score to get admission in top MBA colleges in the world, the police said.

During technical analysis, it was found that members of the syndicate were based in Mumbai after which raids were conducted and Arshad, Salman and Shah were apprehended on Saturday from Mahim. These three were primarily involved in striking the deal and then connect the decoy customer with another module of syndicate to solve the exam, police said.

Subsequently, Goel was apprehended from Pitampura. He runs an institute for networking training course and used to arrange the solvers for the Mumbai based module. Later, Sharma, who was the solver in this case, was also nabbed from Gurugram, they said.

During interrogation, Sharma said that he entered this profession due to Teotia who is one of the most infamous exam hackers and wanted by CBI and Haryana Police in various cases.

On Monday, Teotia was apprehended from Jaipur in Rajasthan. Teotia revealed during the interrogation that he was involved in online exam hacking and solving for the last five years and had been in touch with Russian hackers too. He had also visited Russia in 2018.

The accused have admitted to helping 18 candidates clear GMAT and around 500 candidates in other exams in three years, the police said.

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