Daily Cybercrime Brief by Future Crime Researchers [17.04.2024] : Aamir Khan New Victim Of Deepfake, New Investment & Crypto Fraud and More | #cybercrime | #infosec

Aamir Khan Caught in Deepfake Controversy Ahead of Elections

  1. A viral video depicting Bollywood actor Aamir Khan endorsing the Congress party and criticizing the BJP was identified as a manipulated deepfake, using clips from Khan’s TV show “Satyameva Jayate.”
  2. The doctored video misquoted Khan, altering his words about the economic status of Indians from “crorepati” to “lakhpati” and adding a call to beware of false promises, implying a political endorsement.
  3. Aamir Khan has disassociated himself from the video, clarifying through his spokesperson that he has never endorsed any political party and labeling the video as “fake and completely untrue.” An FIR was also registered.
  4. Technical analysis revealed that the audio in the viral video does not sync with Khan’s lip movements, and phrases like “Satyamev Jayate” were unnaturally repeated, leading to the conclusion that the video was edited.
  5. The actor has taken legal action by filing an FIR with the Mumbai Police Cyber Crime Cell to address the misuse of his image and speech.

College Student Arrested for Rs 1.11 Crore Investment Scam

  1. The Special Crime Unit of Commissionerate Police arrested a final-year BBM student, Atmajyoti Nayak, for orchestrating a Rs 1.11-crore investment fraud from his home in Palashpalli, Bhubaneswar.
  2. Nayak posed as a representative of a non-existent company, “Imperial Investors,” and duped investors with promises of high monthly returns through a fake website.
  3. He attracted victims during a college event in 2022, promising them guaranteed monthly returns, and initially paid out Rs 12 lakh to investors.
  4. The fraud was uncovered when the deceived investors could not contact him after demanding returns on their investments, leading to his arrest.
  5. Nayak admitted to using the invested funds for trading, which initially saw profits but eventually faced market crashes leading to losses; he was subsequently charged under the Indian Penal Code.

ED Investigates Hawala Links to Rs 100 Crore Fraud Involving Cryptocurrency

  1. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating several hawala operators involved in cryptocurrency transactions as part of a money-laundering probe against Dubai-based businessman Vinod Khute and others accused of a Rs 100-crore fraud.
  2. The accused allegedly used hawala channels to transfer crime proceeds to Dubai, converting them into cryptocurrency to evade regulatory oversight.
  3. The probe was initiated following a complaint at Bharti Vidyapeeth police station in Pune, which outlined a scheme where investors were deceived into putting money into Ponzi schemes and forex trading with the allure of high returns.
  4. Investigators discovered that funds collected from investors were deposited into shell companies’ accounts and later illicitly transferred to Dubai through hawala operators.
  5. The ED has so far attached assets worth ₹70.89 crore related to Khute’s illegal operations, which include crypto exchanges, wallet services, and forex trading through his Dubai-based firm, Kana Capital Limited.

ALSO READ: Victim Of A Cyber Attack? Now Dial 1930 & 155260 To Register Complaint And Get Your Money Back

2 Impersonators Arrested for Extorting Kolkata Residents Under Guise of Law Enforcement

  1. Kolkata Police’s anti-bank fraud section arrested Mahiya Balbantbai (33) and Harish Kumar Mehta (23) from Surat, Gujarat, for impersonating law enforcement officers and extorting money from Kolkata residents.
  2. The accused fraudulently claimed to have intercepted parcels with contraband addressed to their victims, coercing money from them to “resolve” the fabricated issues.
  3. They exploited their victims’ trust in the police and fear of social humiliation, often targeting parents of students studying away from home.
  4. The criminals were traced and caught through a money trail that involved dividing extorted funds into various digital wallets.
  5. Following these arrests, Kolkata Police issued public warnings about similar scams and alerted the public to a Trojan software scam involving fake income tax clearance requests.

ALSO READ: CBI Investigates Sargam Electronics for Shocking Rs 22 Crore Scandal

Consumer Court Orders Refund for Victims of Post Office Scam in Godhra

  1. Two brothers, Nikur and Akur Soni from Godhra, were victims of a post office investment scam involving the monthly income scheme (MIS) of India Post, which occurred between 2010 and 2012.
  2. Despite depositing significant sums via cheques through an agent, they never received passbooks and discovered through RTI queries that although their money was received and deposited by the postal department, no MIS accounts were opened.
  3. The brothers filed three applications in the Godhra consumer court, demanding refunds along with 14% interest, citing the potential reinvestment benefits they missed out on.
  4. The postal department countered by claiming the brothers had not previously lodged complaints about the scam or the agent’s actions, and they failed to record their statements when asked.
  5. The Panchmahal district consumer disputes redressal forum ruled in the brothers’ favor, ordering the return of their deposits with 7.5% interest and additional compensation for legal expenses and mental anguish.

ALSO READ: Think Twice Before Investing: Navi Mumbai Man Cheated Out of Nearly 46 Lakhs


Global Crackdown on Hive RAT Malware Leads to Arrests in U.S. and Australia

  1. Edmond Chakhmakhchyan, alias “Corruption,” from Los Angeles, was arrested for distributing Hive RAT malware after selling it to an undercover agent, facing charges that could result in up to ten years in prison.
  2. The Hive RAT malware, previously known as Firebird, allows cybercriminals full control over victims’ computers to access private data and credentials without the victims’ knowledge.
  3. An Australian citizen was also charged in connection with the creation and sale of the Hive RAT, facing up to three years in prison for multiple cybercrime charges initiated by the Australian Federal Police.
  4. In a related U.S. case, Charles O. Parks III was indicted for a massive cryptojacking scheme, defrauding cloud computing services of over $3.5 million in resources to mine cryptocurrency, facing charges that carry up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
  5. Parks allegedly used sophisticated methods to exploit cloud services for cryptocurrency mining, laundering the proceeds through various channels including NFT marketplaces and converting them into luxury purchases.

UK to Criminalize Creation of Non-consensual Deepfake Pornography

  1. The UK Ministry of Justice announced new legislation making the creation of sexually explicit deepfake images without consent a criminal offense, carrying potential penalties including an unlimited fine and imprisonment.
  2. The law will apply regardless of whether the deepfake creator intended to distribute the image, extending the scope of last year’s Online Safety Act which criminalized sharing such images.
  3. The amendment to the criminal justice bill was confirmed by Laura Farris, the minister for victims and safeguarding, emphasizing that the creation of these images is unacceptable in any context.
  4. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, supported the move, highlighting the importance of criminalizing the creation of deepfake pornography as a vital protection of individual autonomy and privacy.
  5. The editor-in-chief of Glamour UK, Deborah Joseph, acknowledged the legislation as a crucial step but noted that more needs to be done to ensure women’s safety from the threats posed by deepfake technology.

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National Cyber Security