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Court questions police method to track IP addresses

The special sessions court trying the Mumbai terror attack case on Wednesday questioned the Mumbai police’s methods to track the Internet Protocol addresses of five Pakistanis...

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
August 27, 2009 1:25:33 am

The special sessions court trying the Mumbai terror attack case on Wednesday questioned the Mumbai police’s methods to track the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of five Pakistanis,and raised doubts on the authenticity of the data.

Three of the five Pakistanis are named as wanted accused in the chargesheet.

Inspector Mukund Pawar of the Crime Branch’s cyber crime cell explained the method used: “The FBI,which investigated the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system in the US,gave 10 IP addresses for the Mumbai Police to locate physically… An easily accessible website,all-nettools.com,helped find out the geographical locations of the IP addresses. Five addresses were found to be proxy and five on computers in Pakistan.”

Special judge M L Tahaliyani then asked,“Is the website used to get the information authentic? Do you know where it is registered and who owns the site?”

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He asked if the police verified how the website could have specific details of each IP address. “Isn’t only the service provider able to provide information on any IP address?” Tahaliyani said. He mentioned the possibility of wrong addresses being put up on the website.

Pawar agreed to the doubts raised but repeated this was the procedure followed to verify an IP address “before physically verifying the location”.

The wanted accused whose addresses were tracked are Col R Sadatulla (Special Communication Organisation,Qasim Road,Rawalpindi),Khuram Shahzaad (Special Communication Organisation,Qasim Road,Rawalpindi) and Sajid Iftikar (7th floor,EFU House,Jail Road,Lahore). The police don’t have the names of the persons with the remaining two IP addresses.

According to the prosecution,they were in constant contact with the ten Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who attacked Mumbai,motivating and guiding them on mobile through the VOIP service.

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