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STF nabs youth in ID spoofing case

by November 10, 2016 General
Lucknow: Had state police chief’s name not been involved, it might have taken months to get to the bottom of this cyber offence.

Masked behind layers of proxy servers, a youth in early 20s made illegal phone calls through a mobile spoofing app. Identifying himself as director general of UP police Javeed Ahmad, the miscreant pressured police to follow his orders.

However, his journey to make a quick buck was cut short on Wednesday when the Gorakhpur unit of special task force arrested Ram Nagina Singh from Cantt area. Investigations spanned three more countries; USA, Singapore and United Arab Emirates and UP police had to get in touch with a global group which deals with computer security incidents.

DySP Vikas Chandra Tripathi from STF Gorakhpur unit said Nagina was well aware about working of police department. The 23-year-old is from Sant Kabir Nagar district and a relative of his is a police constable. A fake ID card, which identified Nagina as a constable, was also recovered from him. On accessing the gallery of Nagina’s phone, a lot of photographs which showed him in police uniform were found.

A fortnight before his arrest on October 27, Nagina had called up Gorakhpur police superintendent and instructed him to remove a station officer posted under him. Through the spoofing app, Nagina changed his number to 9454400101, the official CUG number assigned to the DGP.

Smelling a rat, the officer called up Ahmad on his landline number in Lucknow to cross check. Gorakhpur police got on the job immediately thereafter. The call detail record provided by BSNL, however, threw up the same CUG number, adding to the difficulty of sleuths working on the case. The case was handed over to STF.

“It was a challenging case and had to be worked out immediately as we were getting similar complaints constantly,” said Addl SP Triveni Singh, nodal officer of STF’s cyber wing. Forensic tools were used and it became clear that the call was made through internet (VoIP). As services of a USA-based company had been used, STF got in touch with CERT-In (Computer Emergency Response Team).

A government mandated security organization, CERT experts found that the call was routed through Singtel, a telecommunications company based out of Singapore. The company provided the unique ID of the app which was used. Through the app developer who was located in Dubai, UAE, STF got the mobile number which was registered while obtaining the unique ID. The mobile number was being used by Nagina.

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