In a short span of a year, Shubham Singh, 21, a self-taught hacker, has lectured the Mumbai Police on ethical hacking and helping solve complex cyber crimes.
The Ghatkopar resident has impressed police officers with whom he worked, and it is very likely that he would be training the police force in battling cyber crime once his proposal is cleared.
In one of his earliest cases, Singh helped the police in Ghatkopar track how a man was receiving large sums of money from his girlfriend, even though her parents had rejected proposals of marriage. “Through call data records of the woman’s phone, I found that she was in constant communication with him and would transfer money by operating her bank account through her phone,” he said.
Singh subsequently graduated to helping crack banking frauds and crimes committed on social media.
He was lecturing at an institute in Vikhroli last year that one of his professors put him in touch with the police. He hasn’t looked back since.
“He’s a very helpful boy. He visits us often and volunteers help. In the past three months, he has helped us crack several cases.” said Shankar Dhanawade, senior inspector, Pant Nagar police station.
The youngest of three brothers, Singh was raised by a homemaker mother and a father who works at the BEST Undertaking.
By the time he turned 15, the intricacies of hacking had aroused his curiosity, but it was a seminar he attended at IIT Bombay that year that began his initiation. “I began to read magazines and attended seminars and signed up for courses in hacking. But none of those was a substitute for practice. I taught myself,” he said.
Singh now runs his own set-up — Cyber World Academy in Vikhroli — in partnership with West Bengal native Soumya Mondal.
The duo have tailored a course in cyber crime investigation for the police and would be offered free of cost once the proposal is approved.
“We received the proposal two months ago and it is under consideration. We are studying its contents and working out how it is to be implemented,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime.
The course has 25 modules which include cyber forensics, examining digital data and digital evidence, investigating email attacks and Internet protocol (IP) addresses, and cyber warfare and terrorism.
Singh adds that 18 officers of sub-inspector rank upwards have already begun taking his course.
Singh is currently pursuing a Bachelor in Computer Administration from Pune’s Tilak University and wants to depoly his skills in the service of the Police. “The best option for me is to join the police. After graduating, I will either appear for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission exams or the Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) exam,” he said.