Daily Cybercrime Brief by Future Crime Researchers [18.04.2024] : Iran’s Cyber Offensive, Pune Woman Defrauded of Rs. 2 Crore, Cyber Attacks on LDF Candidate, and more | #cybercrime | #infosec

Pune Woman Cheated of Rs 2 Crores in Elaborate Online Army Impersonation Scam

  • A Pune woman, a senior manager in her late 50s, was defrauded of Rs two crores by cybercriminals posing as a “Lieutenant General from the US Army” on a peacekeeping mission in Syria.
  • The fraudsters, who initially contacted her on Facebook and continued communication on WhatsApp, gained her trust by sharing personal stories and promising to transfer his life’s savings.
  • Over three months, the victim was manipulated into making 48 transactions totaling Rs 2.1 crores to 20 different fraudulent accounts, under the pretense of clearing a parcel containing valuables at Tiruchirappalli International Airport.
  • The criminals posed as officials from various authorities including the FBI and Supreme Court of India, and they coerced and threatened her with legal action if she did not make the payments.
  • After realizing the scam, the woman approached the police, leading to an FIR registration at the Cyber Crime Police station in Pune, as authorities noted the use of sophisticated ‘confidence tricks’ in this and similar cases.

Mumbai Cybersecurity Expert Sets Guinness Record with Puzzle in Soap Bubble

  • Mumbai-based cyber security expert Chinmay Prabhu set a Guinness World Record by solving a rotating puzzle tetrahedron inside a soap bubble in 32.69 seconds.
  • The record-setting event was shared by Guinness World Records on Instagram, where it garnered over 1.3 million views, highlighting the unique nature of the feat.
  • Chinmay Prabhu demonstrated the challenge by creating a large soap bubble on a table and placing the puzzle inside it, which he then solved rapidly.
  • The Instagram post received a variety of comments, with users praising the creativity and uniqueness of the record, noting it as a source of national pride and a soothing spectacle to watch.
  • The achievement not only showcased Prabhu’s puzzle-solving skills but also brought attention to the innovative ways individuals are setting records, combining elements of entertainment and skill.

ALSO READ: Whale Phishing: Know How This Pune Real Estate Firm Lost Rs 4 Crore In Deceptive Phishing Attack

Vadakara MLA Criticizes Kerala Police for Inaction on Cyber Attacks

  • K K Rema, Vadakara MLA, criticized the Kerala Police and its cyber wing for not taking stringent action on the cyber attacks against LDF candidate K K Shailaja, emphasizing the lack of response despite a complaint filed 20 days ago.
  • UDF leaders, including V D Satheesan, are on the defensive, accusing the LDF of using the cyber attacks to divert attention from the Panur blast case and alleged violent politics of the CPM.
  • Rema highlighted the broader issue of cyber attacks and personal insults against women in Kerala, sharing her own experiences as a female politician facing similar challenges.
  • Satheesan refuted claims that the UDF candidate Shafi Parambil was behind the cyber attacks, accusing the LDF of spreading falsehoods to cover up their political failures.
  • Legal actions have begun with the police filing cases against two individuals involved in the cyber attacks on Shailaja, including T H Aslam, a local IUML leader, for sharing a fabricated video.

Indore Construction Official Duped of Rs 19 Lakh Through Remote Access App Scam

  • An official from a construction company in Indore fell victim to a cyber fraud involving Rs 19 lakh after downloading a remote access app on his mobile phone, prompted by a conman posing as a customer service agent.
  • The conman initially contacted the official claiming to help cancel a Hotstar subscription and instructed him to download the remote access app to facilitate the process.
  • Once the app was installed, the conman exploited this access to unlawfully transfer Rs 1 lakh from the official’s bank account and fraudulently secure a loan for Rs 18 lakh using the victim’s personal details.
  • The victim became aware of the unauthorized transactions and the loan only after receiving and eventually reading alert messages from his bank.
  • The case is currently under investigation by the crime branch, and information regarding the incident and the accused will be shared with Kerala police for further action as the victim was in Kerala during the incident.

Madhya Pradesh Man Sets Soldier’s Car Ablaze Over Online Game Dispute

  • Bablu Khemriya, a man from Madhya Pradesh, set a soldier’s car on fire due to a dispute involving the online game “Free Fire” with the soldier’s daughter.
  • The incident, captured on CCTV, shows Khemriya pouring petrol on the white car and igniting it at midnight.
  • The conflict arose after the soldier’s daughter changed the password to Khemriya’s “Free Fire” game account, which she had been allowed to use, and refused to give him access again.
  • An FIR has been registered against Khemriya, who is now absconding. The complaint was lodged by the soldier’s wife.
  • Previously, the soldier’s daughter had filed a molestation case against Khemriya, who fled during a court hearing related to the case.

Iran Intensifies Cyber Offensives Against Israel Amid Escalating Military Tensions

  • Iran launched significant cyberattacks against Israel’s critical infrastructure as part of a larger conflict that included missile and drone strikes, escalating tensions between the two nations.
  • The cyberattacks were part of a series of digital offensives that began nearly a year ago, involving various hacktivist groups influenced by the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict and previous military actions.
  • Gaby Portnoy, Israel’s cyber defense chief, reported that cyberattacks tripled since the conflict with Hamas started, with increased involvement from Iran, Hezbollah, and their allied hackers.
  • Recent cyber activities have included targeted attacks during Jewish holidays, exploiting symbolic dates to maximize impact and visibility.
  • Hacktivism and cyber offensives by groups like IRGC-linked, Hezbollah-backed, and other Iranian APTs have shown a sophisticated coordination of attacks, sometimes hitting multiple targets simultaneously.

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National Cyber Security