CP M Stephen Raveendra said that the accused registered themselves with Just Dial and sold data to users across the country. (Photo By Arrangement)
HYDERABAD: Cyberabad Police arrested a gang involved in committing theft of data belonging to 16.8 crore citizens across the country, including 1.2 Crore WhatsApp users, 17 lakh Facebook users, defence personnel, Government employees, CBSE schools, PAN card holders, and also data in more than 130 different categories.
CP M Stephen Raveendra said that the accused registered themselves with Just Dial and sold data to users across the country, based on the category of their requirement.
Not ruling out the espionage angle, Raveendra said the data of defence and government employees can be used for espionage, impersonation and committing serious offences which may jeopardise national security. The data relating to pan cards can be sued to commit serious offences.
The data is being used to commit large number of cybercrimes by gaining confidence with victim by disclosing the above information. "The investigation is still at an early stage and I cannot reveal much about the data of defence personnel being leaked with every detail of each personnel," he said.
When asked if data of any persons holding constitutional positions or VVIPs, public representatives was also leaked, Raveendra said that is still under verification.
When a used calls Just Dial to make inquiries, confidential data of a sector or category of individuals, their query is listed and sent to that category of service provider. The fraudsters then call those clients and send them the data, which is used for committing crimes. In this case, the accused gang operated through registered and unregistered - companies Data Mart Infotech, Global Data Arts and MS Digital Grow.
"Since it is clearly evident that Just Dial was supplying data without any verification, we will examine them and initiate legal action against them as well," he added.
Further mobile number database of 3 crore individuals could have been leaked from telecom service providers. Data of customers from reputed financial institutions like Axis, HSBC was also leaked.
The racket was pulled off by Kumar Nitish Bhushan, who runs a call centre in Noida. Other accused are Kumari Pooja Pal, Susheel Thomar, Atul Pratap Singh, Muskan Hassan, Zia Ur Rehman and Sandeep Pal.