The Cyber Crime Cell of the Pune City Police has facilitated the return of around half a million US dollars that was transferred from the account of a chemical company in Pune to accounts in a bank in Mexico following a fake email in a case of ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack.
Two transactions were made by the Pune-based company on June 14 and 18 in which $1,66,276 and $3,29,406 were transferred to some accounts in a Mexican bank. It later came to light that the email, following which the transactions were made, was fraudulent. On June 20, an FIR in this regard was registered at city’s Cyber police station.
While the investigation was on, officials from the Cyber Crime Cell approached the Mexican bank and the Indian bank where the chemical company held the account and the entity that facilitated the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) transaction. The documents proving that the said transactions were based on a fraudulent email were provided to both the banks and the entity. The Mexican entity has communicated to police about the return of the said amount of Rs 3.41 crore to the Pune-based chemical company.
An official from the Cyber Crime Cell said: “The ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack starts with hacking of the email accounts of either parties involved in business. In the communications, the hackers can get the details about the ongoing business dealings. The online fraudsters create an email account closely resembling the participant mail addresses. Through the fraudulent email, it is communicated that the original account of the other participating party is non-functional and so the deposit should be made to another account, belonging to the hackers.”
The investigation into the case is currently on.