In a first-of-its-kind synchronised operation, the CBI on Friday acted on the inputs of FBI to arrest a man from Pune who allegedly hacked over 900 email accounts across the globe for clients ranging from individuals to corporates.
CBI sources said they had inputs from the US probe agency on the activities of Amit Vikram Tiwari, son of a senior army officer. He was arrested for alleged violation of the Information Technology Act.
Sources said 30-year-old Tiwari was allegedly working for his clients through two web sites – http://www.hirehacker.net and http://www.anonymiti.com – with servers located in the US offering services of illegally accessing passwords of email accounts in exchange for a fee varying from USD 250-500.
They said payments were allegedly routed through Western Union and Paypal.
They said during initial questioning, it has surfaced that Tiwari allegedly hacked into 900 email accounts between February 2011-2013, of which 171 were Indian victims. The clients varied from individuals to corporates.
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CBI sources said they were still probing whether national security was compromised by Tiwari’s acts.
Sources said there was information that people linked with Indian Premier League also tried to rope in Tiwari but talks failed over payment issues. The agency is still verifying these claims.
Based on the FBI inputs, CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry and carried out detailed ground work to locate Tiwari who was also arrested by Mumbai Police nearly 10 years ago for cheating a credit card company.
After collecting prima-facie evidence, CBI registered two FIRs under IPC of theft and provisions of violation of Information Technology Act relating to identity theft (Section 66(c)) read with provisions of hacking and assisting in stealing information.
After filing cases, CBI carried out searches in Mumbai, Pune and Ghaziabad today which were synchronised for the first time with similar operations in China, Romania and the US by the agencies of the respective countries, the sources said.