Monday, December 17, 2007

Online bank accounts hackers nabbed by CCPS

Mistakes made by people while doing transaction of their account online is giving rise to hacking of accounts. One of such incident has come into notice the accused initiated into cyber crime when he chanced upon an online bank account which was not logged out at a cyber cafe.

The cyber crime police station (CCPS), CoD, Karnataka busted a major racket of hacking into online bank accounts of people across the State, using key logger software. The detectives arrested seven people, who allegedly hacked various bank accounts on Internet and siphoned off close to Rs 12 lakhs (Rs 1.2 million).

The main accused, Joseph, an unemployed techie is from Virudunagar in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu, was nabbed from a cyber cafe in Mahadevapura near Whitefield by the police on November 29. Six of his associates have also been nabbed.

The police had tracked the accused by tracing the IP address of the PC from where the accounts were being hacked.

"A raid on Joseph's house revealed that he had information relating to the user names and passwords of 100 bank accounts belonging to HDFC, Axis Bank, Citibank and ICICI Bank. The banks have confirmed the authenticity of 70 accounts. The accused has hacked 17 of these 70 internet bank accounts. Investigations are on," Cyber Crime Superintendent of Police B A Mahesh told reporters on Friday.

According to the police, Joseph visited the cyber cafes during the first week of every month. Mahesh told the reporters, "He installed the software -- Keylogger -- a freely available solution that tracks and records the key stroke of every PC user. He would then use this recorded data to hack the internet bank accounts."

After hacking the accounts, the accused transferred money to his associates' accounts. "For every transfer, his associates received commission. We have nabbed six of them. This could be a major racket," Mahesh added.

Joseph diverted the money to recharge cell phones from whose owners he collected money at discounted rates. Some of the money was also transferred to bank accounts of Joseph’s accomplices and beneficiaries.

The police started inquiry about the case after four account holders of Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Citibank lodged complaints.

"One particular complaint was filed by Carl Braganza, a HR Manager of an IT firm. The accused had siphoned off Rs 1,27,000 from his Citibank account on a single day. While Rs 87,500 was paid towards mobile currency re-charge, Rs 46,000 was transferred to other Citibank accounts," the police official said.

The accused worked for various companies before taking to hacking internet bank accounts.

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