A recent episode of data theft, illustrates how malicious and virulent this menace can be, where just two people – Amol Kamble (21) and S J Alapat (23), allegedly ran a criminal syndicate under the name of King Infotech in Pune, duping IT companies and financial institutions by stealing their data and pirating it at cutthroat prices. The possibility of others being involved is being probed.
Times Business Solutions Ltd a Times Group company, which owns TimesJobs.com recently lodged an FIR with the Cyber Crime Cell of the Pune police through its Legal Head Mr. Aamod Gupte, after obtaining adequate evidence. Mr. Gupte remarked “We received information that King Infotech a Company in Pune was selling TimesJobs.com data to companies at a much lower price – we sent a dummy customer to King Infotech and managed to obtain the data from them for barely Rs 10,000. The actual cost of the data is much higher. We immediately lodged a complaint with the cyber cell of the Pune police,”.
Inspector Sangeeta Shinde-Alphonso of the Cyber Cell said that after receiving the complaint, with directives from Mr. Rajendra Dahale DCP (Cyber Crime), the police raided Amol Kamble and S J Alapat’s premises where huge amounts of data belonging to TimesJobs.com, Naukri.com, other IT companies & financial institutions etc were seized on three laptops and four computers.
Inspector Alphonso commented, “Aamod Gupte had got emails from various sources saying that data of TimesJobs and other job portals was being sold by King Infotech at negotiable rates.”
After the complaint was lodged, and Niranjan Reddy, cyber crime expert working with the Pune Police, went to the King Infotech office with Inspector Alphonso and a team of policemen.
“Inspector Alphonso and I went inside the office posing as customers while assistant police inspector Sanjay Tungar of Cyber Crime Cell waited outside with three constables. We told the youths that we planned to start a placement consultancy and wanted to purchase the data. They admitted that they had the data of different job portals, which they were ready to sell at discount rates. We alerted the police team, which came into the office and arrested the duo. The entire raid has been filmed and the shoot shows the duo being nabbed red handed. The data was available on DVDs in Excel format.” narrated Reddy.
“We are investigating whether the accused also misused the data of other companies,” added Inspector Alphonso.
Kamble and Alapat were arrested under section 420 (cheating) of the IPC, S. 66 of the Copyright Act and S. 66B of the Information and Technology Act and were produced before a JMFC court and remanded to police custody twice, they are to be produced again today.
Commenting on the seizure Mr. Amit. S. Antal, Legal Head, Info Edge India Ltd (Naukri.com), added, “Stringent actions are taken by us to ensure the security of the database and as and when any such cases come to our notice we act on it. We appreciate the swift action taken by the authorities on our complaint and the cooperation extended by them. “
In a day and age when everything from microwave ovens and refrigerators to nuclear power plants is being run on computers, cyber crime has assumed rather sinister implications, and it is heartening that the Indian Police Cyber Crime cell is there to protect us.