Investigation into alleged hacking and defacement of over 500 Indian websites by two Kashmiri youths have revealed that they used to charge people to hack a website or social media accounts, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and mobile numbers, police said. The duo — Adil Teli (23) from Nunmai and Shahid Malla (27) from Baramulla — were arrested last week by the Delhi Police Special Cell from Punjab. They ran a group called “Team Hackers Third Eye”, and were allegedly involved in educating Kashmiri youths to bypass the state-imposed social media ban by using VPN (virtual private network).
According to police sources, Malla and Teli had fixed rates for hacking — Rs 1,000 for a Facebook account; Rs 5,000 for a mobile; Rs 4,000 for a computer; Rs 2,500 for WhatsApp accounts; and Rs 10,000 for websites.
Additional DCP (cyber cell) KPS Malhotra said police are trying to ascertain their modus operandi. “We are questioning them to know how they hacked mobile numbers, Facebook accounts and WhatsApp numbers. We are also trying to ascertain how many people approached them to hack sites,” he said.
The websites allegedly defaced by the two include that of the National Green Tribunal and the J&K Bank. They had also allegedly posted anti-India slogans.
Cyber expert Maneek Mehra said hacking of mobile numbers and WhatsApp accounts are yet to be reported in the country. “To my knowledge, this is next to impossible… but if somebody has claimed to have done it, it may be possible,” he said.
Police sources added that the duo wanted to hack as many websites to spread the message of the “Free Kashmir movement”. Police had registered a case under IPC Section 124 A (sedition) and 66 of the IT Act.