Pune-based global hacker Amit Vikram Tiwari arrested

In what is being termed as the biggest international hacking scandal, possibly involving corporates, associations and big individuals, coordinated raids were conducted by investigative agencies in India, China and Romania, on the basis of intelligence from Federal Bureau of Investigation about the “organised hacking” happening in three countries and others. In India, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted raids at four places including Mumbai, Pune and Ghaziabad and arrested the alleged mastermind hacker in India – Amit Vikram Tiwari (31), son of a former army colonel, said sources.

Interestingly, the controversial cricket league – Indian Premier League – is back in news again with the hacking scandal. According to highly placed sources, people connected to the IPL had approached Tiwari for hacking into the some accounts but they reportedly had a dispute over money after which work was not reportedly completed. CBI is investigating the IPL connection with the hacking. Officials refused to divulge details but hinted that some people associated with the tournament wanted high-level hacking done.

The primary investigations have revealed that corporates, individuals and even companies – “the clients” – had approached the hackers either for marriage disputes related issues or commercial purposes, which sources described as “corporate rivalry”.

It is suspected that Amit Vikram Tiwari is main hacker in India but he was in touch with people abroad and master-hackers are based somewhere else. Sources also said that most of clients who approached Tiwari for hacking into email accounts and websites were foreigners. All possibilities — national security, corporate hacking, financial fraud and hacking into government departments and secret units, are being probed by CBI in coordination with FBI.

Officials say that 900 email accounts were hacked between February 2011 and February 2013 by international hackers including Tiwari and 171 accounts out of these belonged to Indians. “It has been alleged that a number of internet websites advertised that the website operators could get access to e-mail account in exchange for a fee varying from $250 to $500. The customers desirous to get unauthorized access, submitted e-mail accounts to these websites. Upon receipt of the order, as well as the e-mail addresses, the website operators gained access to such e-mail accounts and sent a proof of such access to the customers. On receipt of payment from Customers these website operators shared the password with the customers,” said CBI Spokesperson Kanchan Prasad. CBI has booked Tiwari and unknown hackers for criminal conspiracy, theft of information and Section 66 of Information Technology Act.

Sources say that payments were being received by hackers through western union money transfer and web-payment portal paypal.com.

What has baffled investigators is that FBI tracking the scandal. It is being suspected that some accounts related to United States government and big corporates there were also hacked after which FBI tracked the hosting sites, used for hacking, in India, China and Romania. In India, Tiwari and his fellow hackers were using two primary websites – and from Pune.

CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said that this was part of an international law enforcement operation and CBI had registered two FIRs against suspect operators of hacking websites. “The operation is product of an international investigation coordinated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Combating Organised Crime (DCCO) of Romania, CBI and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of China and raids in three countries were carried out simultaneously,” said Sinha.

The FBI officials had been reportedly having regular meetings with CBI in New Delhi over past few months and a preliminary enquiry was registered last month itself and it was decided that coordinated raids would be conducted in all the countries. FBI has launched major operation against hackers located globally last year as part of which Romanian authorities have arrested a hacker known as ‘Guccifer’ on Thursday who was infamous for hacking into accounts of powerful leaders. It is alleged that Guccifer leaked online Colin Powell’s personal emails, an unreleased script of Downton Abbey, and the paintings of George W Bush.

CBI sources say they had no information about arrests made in Romania and China as it was the domain of authorities in those countries and it was only concerned with the probe in India.

CBI officials, after arresting Tiwari from Pune, were bringing him to Delhi for interrogation. He has initially given some inputs about his clients and people whose accounts were hacked. Agency has recovered his computers, laptop and hard-drives for retrieving the data.

Sources say that Tiwari, who had reportedly done his engineering from Pune, had been arrested in 2003 as well for trying to defraud a Mumbai based credit card processing company. Mumbai Police had arrested him for the scandal.

Source : TOI

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Jaya TV website hacked and defaced by Pakistani Hackers

Pakistani hacker going with the handle ‘H4$N4!N H4XOR’, a member of ‘Pakistan Haxors Crew’ hacked and defaced the official website of Jaya TV.

Jaya TV is one of the major Tamil language satellite television channels based in Chennai, India.

The main domain and subdomain have been defaced.

The following domains are affected :


Jaya TV Website Hacked

Jaya TV Website Hacked

The hacked website was showing a short message, the message is related to Kashmir, which is a part of India, and is claimed by Pakistan to be theirs.

The group also defaced the Canara Bank Employees’ Union website(cbeu.in). They also leaked database compromised from the server.

At the time of writing, all of the affected websites still showing the defacement page.  “jayanews.in” shows “under maintenance” error page.

Chinese hackers infiltrate Indian Defence Research Organisation

The premier defence research organization in India i.e. the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been hacked, if media reports are to be believed and the attack is believed to have been carried out by Chinese hackers sponsored by the state. This report has spread like wildfire and created quite a stir in the country with many people in the government demanding a detailed probe into the matter. The incident depicts the audacity of the state sponsored Chinese hackers who have repeatedly hacked many sensitive organizations. A probe has been ordered into the case by the government.

Chinese hackers infiltrate Indian Defence Research Organisation

Chinese hackers infiltrate Indian Defence Research Organisation

Media reports are rife with speculation that the hackers managed to access and pilfer many sensitive security documents. This is because the files related to Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is the highest body in India entitled to making security decisions, were found on a server in Guangdong in China.

The attack was brought to notice during early March this year after the top technical intelligence agency National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) joined hands with private cyber security agencies and uncovered a file called “army cyber policy”. Apparently, the file was pre engineered by the hackers so as to spread across the systems and hack the email accounts of DRDO scientists. Moreover, the e-tickets of the DRDO scientists from February when they travelled to Delhi were also found on the server in China along with a huge number of documents relating to the CCS. Also a series of documents pertaining to the R&D on communication programs and surface-to-air missiles by another DRDO organization based in Hyderabad i.e. the Defence Research and Development Lab (DRDL).

Security agencies also found documents of the deals made between the DRDO and Bharat Dynamics Ltd. which is a defense PSU dealing in the design of missies and related components. Another set of files about the economic negotiations with a France based missile manufacturing company were also uncovered.

Surprisingly, despite all the above mentioned evidence, the spokesperson for DRDO Mr. Ravi Kumar Gupta has commented that no breach has taken place in their organization and no computer systems were compromised. According to Gupta, “As per available information, no incidence of breach of security of the DRDO’s computers has come to notice,” and he further added that “Appropriate measures are in place for safety and security of computer systems,”

However, when Defense Minister Mr. A.K. Antony was questioned about the given security breach at DRDO, he replied that “Intelligence agencies are investigating the matter at this stage and I do not want to say anything else.” He did not answer whether any information had been compromised as a result of the breach or not. According to a Defense Ministry Official, “The minister has asked Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma to inquire into the reports of the DRDO’s computers being hacked and submit a report to him at the earliest,”

Well, this is not the first time that the critical defense setup of the country has been targeted by hackers. But it seems that the Chinese hackers are yet to give up on their espionage activities across the world, and India is just their latest target.