DailyPost 2235

Hacking as a skill and profession criss-crosses the intangible boundaries of crime and expertise, of nations, of modalities of payments inclusive of cyrpto-currencies, of academic & professional degrees, of organizations, of the nature of interpersonal interactions and of the effort that can put into something to make is successful. They have created a niche for themselves, which no one can deny, on any side of the digital divide, business and also governance. It has put to the established order of expertise and competence on its head, we had so carefully created for the professional world. All just melted to welcome this new breed, mostly unknowingly.

How they will fan out no one knows going by their track record. You all would be aware of ransomware rampage on a service model, and now at the other end is the news of Indian hackers illegally earning thousands of dollars working for private investigators worldwide. They have a laundry list of targets the world over from Parvez Musharraf to Mark Fullbrook to Stefan Quandt to name a few. The big names at the center of worldwide scandals are targeted by hackers in India, in which the gangs rendering these services allegedly earned thousands of dollars. They did so by breaking into emails of government and prominent figures at the behest of those who are euphemistically called private investigators.

This was uncovered by an organization of investigative journalism. The reporters posed as MI6 agents turned corporate investigators seeking to hire top Indian hackers. This methodology worked very well and lead to this sordid saga coming to light. One of those claimed to have used Pegasus. A fake corporate firm was created by the undercover reporters to go deep into this sleazy world. The top Indian hackers were contacted saying that they wanted private information on targets of their clients. Replies started flooding in. Enthused they came to India and interviewed and secretly filmed to find more about their work. All these happen right under the nose of police and the investigative agencies. Have the Police lost the plot altogether?

One Bangalore based hacker broke into computer systems of nearly half a dozen governments. He said that “our job was to get the data and hand it over.” The Indian hackers have run amok into computers owned by Pakistani politicians, diplomats, generals etc and eavesdropped into their private conversations. Hackers befriended on the social media and then sent something interesting link to click on. The downloaded malware gave access to their email inboxes. The hackers boasted of their skills. The fellow who had confessed to have used Pegasus had hacked the passenger list of Egyptair. They were protected by the fact that the Indian Police ”did not understand these things.” A Gurugram based Deliotte moonlighted as a hacker. He is reported to have saying that he could get access to email inbox of anyone in the world in 30 days. If true, then, what an achievement.

Sanjay Sahay

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