Hackers cast their net far and wide

Rude jolt to noted businessman from city

Updated - February 05, 2015 08:10 am IST

Published - February 05, 2015 12:00 am IST

Cyber crime in the city has taken a new dimension. Hacking is the in-thing, and it is being done from remote centres in far off countries such as Nigeria or Sierra Leone.

Recently, the e-mail account of a prominent businessman in the city was hacked. The hacker sent an e-mail to the businessman’s banker, instructing transfer of funds of Rs. 15 lakh to an account in Maharashtra.

Basing on the instruction of the account holder, the banker transferred the funds without verifying it with the account holder, assuming it to be a genuine and routine business fund transfer.

The following day, the banker received another e-mail from the account holder seeking transfer of Rs. 20 lakh to another account.

This time, the banker inadvertently delayed the transfer and called up the account holder to inform him about the delay.

This shocked the account holder. On enquiry, it was divulged that one transaction had already taken place the previous day. Upon investigation, it was found that the amount was transferred to a middleman in Maharashtra and then instantly routed to Nigeria, where the hackers were believed to be operating from.

“Cyber space is like an ocean. Zeroing in on a hacker operating from a distant land, that too in a country which is prone to civil war, is close to impossible,” said a senior police officer.

According to Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) S. Varada Raju, petty crimes using Facebook or defaming through e-mails have reduced considerably after the Cyber Crime Cell has taken up a massive awareness campaign. But, hacking and the lottery scam, which is otherwise called as the Nigerian 419 scam, are on the rise.

“One should not open unsolicited mails or mails from unknown persons. Hackers across the globe send luring mails, which could have the lure of money or sexual matter, and wait for persons to open the mail.

“Once done, there is something called the logger keys that get activated at the hackers’ end. The hacker, from then on, can put a tab on all your Internet usage. They can even get to know your PIN or other personal details, just by recording the keys that you press on the keyboard, and use them to hack your bank account,” said Mr. Varada Raju.

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