Sunny Nehra would give YouTube tutorials on responsible hacking and his Facebook page sharing similar tips had amassed 10,000 followers
But it has been alleged that the 24-year-old engineering dropout could not resist the lure of ‘easy money’ and targetted international online shoppers
He is now in judicial custody after Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force busted a gang of five hackers using leaked data of credit cards
His YouTube lessons on responsible hacking drew thousands of techies. Meanwhile, his Facebook page, where he imparted similar tips, had more than 10,000 followers.
But Sunny Nehra, a 24-year-old engineering dropout, could not resist the lure of easy money, police say.
According to Delhi Police cyber cell records, Nehra’s list of victims reads out the who’s who of e-commerce companies, from MakeMyTrip and Yatra.com to Amazon, Flipkart, Big Bazar, Reliance Digital, Myntra. com, Dominos Pizzas, Prestige, Titan, Provogue and Shoppers Stop.
Nehra’s game was up last week when a team of Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force busted a gang of five alleged hackers for allegedly duping thousands of international account holders by shopping through leaked data of credit cards.
He is now in judicial custody. ‘This is a classic case of a gifted mind taking up the criminal path,’ said UP STF’s additional superintendent Triveni Singh who arrested Nehra last week.
‘There are many young techies who are inspired from him. We have several such young criminals on our radar and will soon start a crackdown against them.’
Describing his functioning, Singh said after finding loopholes in a payment gateway, Nehra would misuse the leaked data of international credit card users.
‘They got international credit card details from darknet and some open forums, which are leaked by hackers by compromising card number, CVV and expiry date. Nehra and his gang misused these cards for shopping goods from online portals,’ Singh told Mail Today.
This is not Nehra’s first brush with the law, police said. A Delhi Police team also arrested Nehra from a five star hotel in Gurugram in January this year, for allegedly stealing e-vouchers worth Rs one crore.
Interestingly, Delhi cops echoed UP STF sentiments on Nehra.
‘He is a brilliant coder and can easily find shortcomings in online websites and banking channels. He is known for devising newer modus-operandi to hack into classified data. Nehra also has a weakness for five-star hotels and lavish holidays,’ said a member of the Delhi Police raiding party.
‘He loves travelling, staying in high-end hotels or resorts and travelling by air. Even his gang members maintains luxurious life and splurged money on expensive cars,’ said the officer.
The officer claimed that Nehra and his team digitally shoplifted e-vouchers, allegedly causing a loss of several crore to online shopping sites, payment gateways and credit card holders.
His followers on the internet still swear by him. Some of the netizens Mail Today spoke to said Nehra was inspired from international hacker Snowden.
But police suspect that instead of ethical hacking, Nehra was active in darknet community and assisted hackers in detecting vulnerable codes.
The gang sold a large chunk of high-end gadgets to the members of their closed network at a cheaper rate, police said.
Nehra has also developed an online association with various hackers in India as well as abroad. He allegedly tied up with professional hackers in India, the Netherlands and Indonesia to hone in his skills.
Bangalore Police suspect Nehra was involved in a recent case where a hacker had given a 72-hour deadline to an online company asking it to cough up $5,000 (Rs 3.22 lakh), failing which he would share their confidential information.
The company received a threat mail from a person who claimed himself as Sunny Nehra who claimed he had hacked and downloaded the vouchers.
The online firm is in the trade of issuing vouchers to the employees of various IT firms. The investigations are still on.