Late last year, Balaji Vijayaraghavan, a criminology student from Chennai, downloaded Snapit, a money-lending app. A few days later, he lost close to a lakh from his bank account.
Balaji immediately froze his bank accounts and launched an investigation along with Save Them India Foundation, an NGO working in the cybersecurity front, into how the data breach occurred.
“When we began to probe the issue, I learnt that there were 59 malware in the digital lending app that I installed,” says Balaji “Although I did not log in on the app or give permission to access details of other apps such as gallery and contacts, my mobile was hacked and data was compromised,” Balaji, TN president of Save Them India Foundation, adds.
The scammer, in fact, had taken control of his device to send SMS without his knowledge or consent. The scammer unblocked Balaji’s bank account as it was able to read the OTP and siphon off funds.
Balaji noted that there were multiple transactions in just 27 days and his account was credited and debited with close to Rs 8 lakhs. The hackers used his bank account for money laundering activity. In the process of which, the hackers siphoned off close to a lakh that Balaji already had in his account.
“I think it was done to convert the dark web transactions via cryptocurrency, black money into white, and use it for local operational activities in India,” he says.
How does the black money gets converted into white money?
Cryptocurrency is a non-traceable form of transaction digitally circulated in the dark web. The most popular cryptocurrency is bitcoins and the transaction fee is negligible. The hackers use bitcoin to ensure the government does not suspect the activity. The entire process appears legitimate as a result of which the government cannot take notice as the transaction may appear like native transactions.
Balaji’s experience is just the tip of the iceberg. There has been a considerable spike in the number of cyber crimes happening in India during the lockdown as can be seen from the statistics below:
- recorded 14,759 cyber crime cases
- saw 29,847 complaints
- witnessed 1119* cases in 2020
- In 1,200 cyber crime cases were registered till June 2020
- 1,755 FIRs were filed in till August 2020.
In light of the above, Save Them India Foundation has filed a petition in the Supreme Court urging it to take measures to pass the Data Protection Bill, 2019.
We spoke to Pravin Kalaiselvan, founder of Save Them India Foundation and Balaji Vijayaraghavan to understand the trend of rising cyber crimes in India and what we can do to stay safe. Excerpts from the interview:
What does the rise in cybercrimes in India indicate?
Pravin: We began to investigate the loopholes when the cybercrimes were peaking during the lockdown. Our team found out that the entire exercise was hatched by Chinese nationals. India is not ready for a cyberwar as there have been security breaches detected and reported in the Aadhaar card and PAN card databases in the past.
Another dangerous weapon used by hackers is the selfie camera. While we think it is just a camera application, hackers access the data for stealing facial recognition using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Similarly, the latest smartphones are equipped with fingerprint sensors that get stored in the server. If a data war erupts, our economy will be damaged as they have access to the Aadhaar and PAN details which can be cracked with facial recognition, fingerprint sensor tools and other data.
How do digital lending apps and shell companies work?
Pravin: Digital lending applications are most commonly available on Google PlayStore. When users install such applications, its first step is to copy all the data. From contacts to photographs — everything is compromised and is stored on their web servers. The server where data is stored is crucial to ensure data breach does not happen. Most of the malicious apps store data on Alibaba server that operates from China. We found out that about 92% of the companies who use the server give Alibaba access to user information.
When a user avails a loan from such applications, the app developers threaten the users with the data. This is called digital/data mortgage where users pawn their data in exchange for money.
The main reason for the rise in digital lending applications in the Play Store is the lack of monitoring by the Centre.
Balaji: The hackers have set up a number of shell companies pan-India where they train people on several verticals of cyber crime. While one group targets high-profile people and tries to invade their device through different hacking methodologies, the other targets commoners through gaming, microlending and dating apps. The kingpin behind all these carefully planned cybercrimes is in China and operates in India through shell companies here. Recently, the Chennai police nabbed two Chinese nationals and two Indians in Bengaluru as they were illegally operating instant loan apps.
What should one do if their mobile is hacked?
Balaji: Factory reset of the device is enough to wipe out the malwares. I formatted my Android device and switched to an iOS platform. It is not easy to hack iPhones as in the case of Android mobiles.
For Android users, I suggest to be extra cautious and not click the random web links from spam mails or messages and refrain from downloading forwarded images/GIFs that are received on WhatsApp or any other messaging platform. The user should not make a copy of the data if s/he gets to know that their device is hacked as the malware may also get copied.
What can be the consequences for a user who installs a malicious app?
Pravin: There are several kinds of fraudulent activities that can happen to an individual. Our recent probe revealed that several applications can read the user’s text messages and tap into his list of contacts. In Balaji’s case, the hackers reached out to many people in his contact list.
As they can read the messages, it implies that they have access to the One Time Password (OTP) that gets generated while making a transaction. The hackers usually indulge in siphoning off activities at midnight while everyone is sound asleep. None of us really know immediately when a notification pops up.
Balaji: Identity theft is another type of cybercrime. In my case, a new Director Identification Number (DIN) was created even without my knowledge. DIN is similar to PAN and is assigned to people who would want to start and run a company. It is a crime to have more than one PAN/DIN. I found out that there were a number of DINs created in my name. It is very easy to create a DIN number as it requires some basic details, a KYC video, which I had done long back for my company, and can be created online. While that was resolved, what is noteworthy is that the fraudsters used every media file found on my device.
What is the status of cybercrime rules and regulations in India?
Pravin: Our petition at the Supreme Court is to ban Indian companies from using Chinese servers for storing data, banning digital lending apps and passing the Data Security Bill, 2019. Passing the bill is the need of the hour, as it has the potential to shut down international companies, who operate from India illegally to steal data.
What can the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) do when a financial fraud case gets registered?
Pravin: As per the rules, digital lending apps should be approved by the RBI and Non-bank financial institution (NBFC). However, we found out that 90% of the money-lending apps are not approved by the RBI.
Two weeks ago, the RBI flagged Google about the digital loan lending applications following which 30 apps were taken down from PlayStore. The government has just begun acting against cyber crimes.
How to know whether the identity of a user is stolen? What should they do if they find out if it is used for illegal activities?
Pravin: One should keep checkingfrom time to time to ensure their identity is not misused. Zauba Corp is a web directory that has information about the companies in India. Basic details like name of the company, directors, registered location, name of shareholders and address of the company and annual financial data and competitors. The authenticity of a company can be assessed by cross-checking on Zauba Corp website.
If the identity is misused, file an FIR immediately. If the local police do not launch an immediate investigation, people should reach out to the nearest Superintendent Office.
Save Them India Foundation has been receiving a lot of distress calls. What kind of requests do you get?
Pravin: From March till date, we have helped around 49,000 persons who have been victims of various kinds of cyber threats. Many people have even committed suicide due to their private data being hacked illegally; this is certainly a wake-up call and the time is ripe to have strong data protection rules. We are closely working with police departments in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra for nabbing cybercriminals.
What should users watch out for?
- Do not install unauthorised, unnecessary and third-party applications.
- Use legit photo-editing applications to ensure the pictures are safe and secure.
- Limit permissions given to applications
- Do not click on web links and attachment if the message or e-mail is a spam
- Do not download commonly circulated/forwarded ‘greetings’ images. Such images come with payloads and would inject a bot into your device.
- Check if the data collected by an application is stored in protected Indian servers like AWS
- Do not have private photographs on mobile phones
- Do not have digital copies of Aadhaar, PAN Card and other confidential details
- Two-way authentication sign-in for emails
- Turn off data/Wi-Fi when not in use, especially in the night.
With the world going digital, there are only two kinds of people now — people who know that they are hacked and people who do not know that they have been hacked. One should always be wary of data breach and file a complaint immediately.
*Errata: The cybercrime figures reported by Cyberabad police were wrongly cited in the first published version, and have since been corrected. The error is regretted.
Days Gone Game Download for Android
Days Gone is an open-world survival horror and action-adventure video game developed by SIE Bend Studio. Moreover, this horror-adventure game published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Unreal Engine 4 used for the development of this game. The game set in a post-apocalyptic Oregon held after a global pandemic. However, a former drifter Deacon St. John. seeks to survive with the help of his mate by staying in a shelter with resources like food, water, weapons, and booze.
Days Gone Android
|App Version||1.0 BETA|
|Apk Size||112 MB|
|Supported Versions||Android 4.1 and up|
How to Install Days Gone on Android
- Go to the apk website to download Days Gone APK.
- Open Days Gone.apk either from the download folder on your Android Device.
- Allow an unknown resource to be installed on your phone. However, you will get the launcher on your mobile phone and tap on it.
- Complete the verification process and additional data download. Next, play the game on your mobile.
As I already said, the game sets in a post-apocalyptic environment and the main protagonist is Deacon St. John. The third-person view of the game is the player navigates an open-world setting. The player uses handguns, equipment with improvised weapons. Stealth is used to protect and defend against hostile humans and creatures.
The main player is to complete his objectives by using stealth mode or assault mode. The weather is dynamic like day-night cycle mode and also features slow by day. Fast by night with deep thrill chilling environment. John’s transportation is a motorcycle, and it is modified with several parts to enhance speed and durability. As a player, you need to defend yourself against threats as it is a survival-horror game. Take care of your vehicle because you need to travel to different locations, clean the bandit camps, freak dens, and killing zombies.
The game featured a muddy and disturbed environment with zombies and firefighters, and the graphics are good, and the story is interesting with the necessary action. The game background music is good and apt to the environment. John’s character was well designed. Especially, his face features angry, sullen, and when it comes to his personal life. His wife has been divorced and claimed to be death.
Days Gone PS4
Players can experience epic gameplay with additional features. They can play the game with their earned weapons, NERO boosters, skills, collectibles, and more. You can play NG+ on any mode like easy, normal, hard, and survival. Additionally, players can new trophies and new weapons from several modes.
Days Gone PC
Players begin a new journey on PC. They have two challenge modes Survival Mode and Challenge Mode. Players can play the main story, and also they can access new game content. In Survival, I and Survival II modes are difficult to play because enemies are harder. Indicators removed, and no fast travel and gameplay are highly tensed environment. In Challenge mode, there are 12 different challenges available. The player needs to fight with zombies, freaks, and bike races as he needs to climb up the leaderboard. The player can earn credits to unlock bike skins and characters.
Download Modern Critical Warfare action offline games 2018 APK 0.0.2j for Android
The World of Warcraft is all set to release its newest epic, the Modern Critical Strikes package that promises to be an expansion pack for World of Warcraft, and one that many are expecting to be well worth the money spent on it. As always, Blizzard Entertainment will be releasing a new patch with this new game, and it will be essential to players to make sure they are up to date on this before downloading and installing the latest patch. Not only will the new game to add a number of new levels and additional content, it will also include brand new equipment for the characters in the game, as well as a brand new system for playing” PvE “and” PvP “online. Here are some of the details about the exciting new addition to World of Warcraft:
There are currently over a dozen World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing games available, but only one of them offers players the chance to truly enjoy the highly addictive action that is the staple of modern critical combat, with a number of unique settings and combat mechanics that are not found in other MMORPGs. STJ Games, Incorporated has developed a number of fantastic arcade style mobile games, and now they have decided to bring this excellent content to life on the Android platform. As with the other versions of the Modern Critical Strike series, users will find that the touch screen interface is easily navigable, and that Android users will really enjoy the various little details that have been added to this popular action-adventure game. A great deal of the fun comes from the new arcade style level design that Blizzard has used, and players will have a good amount of fun figuring out how to defeat the ever growing numbers of enemies that appear on screen.
This all adds up to an exciting prospect for avid World of Warcraft players around the world, and it looks as though the company is gearing up for a number of new releases, including perhaps the return of the Lich King. With the success of STJ games on consoles, it’s only a matter of time before the PC version becomes available. Of course, the success or failure of STJ depends on whether or not the player base continues to grow as rapidly as the developer hopes it will. As you might expect, the success of STJ depends very much on the user base, which would seem to indicate that there are a lot of people out there who play this game. Whether or not they can enjoy it on their PC is another matter entirely.
How to download PUBG Mobile 1.6, android and iOS
PUBG Mobile 1.6: How to download PUBG Mobile 1.6 on your android and iOS, Download Link and Step by step guide – After the massive success of the PUBG Mobile 1.5 Update, Krafton has given PUBG Mobile players another reason to be excited. The much-awaited PUBGM 1.6 update is live for players globally with new maps, weapons, vehicles, and many other cool features. Players can download the game on their mobile devices from the Google Play Store (Android) and Apple App Store (iOS). Sometimes users face the problem while downloading the game but don’t worry we have covered you. In this article, we have covered all steps to download the PUBG Mobile 1.6 Update APK and OBB file on your mobile.
PUBG Mobile 1.6: How to download PUBG Mobile 1.6 on your android and iOS, Download Link and Step by step guide
PUBG Mobile 1.6 Update: PUBG pros and enthusiasts alike can download the game and enjoy the new feature on their mobile. If you don’t have PUBG Mobile on your device and want to download it on your android device. Please head over to the Google Play Store to install the game on the device. If you having any problem with downloading the game from Google Play Store, we have got you covered. We bring the download link of PUBG Mobile 1.6 Update APK and OBB File from where you can download the game on your device.
PUBG Mobile 1.6 Update APK and OBB file: Step by step guide to install
Latest APK Download Link–
Latest OBB File Download Link-
PUBG Mobile 1.6: How to download PUBG Mobile 1.6 on your android and iOS, Download Link and Step by step guide
PUBG Mobile 1.6 APK & OBB Global Version Download Link and Step by step guide?
Step 1: To begin the installation process, players need to download the APK file from the given link.
Step 2: After the download is complete, players need to enable the “Install from unknown source”. Ignore this step if done already.
Step 3: Locate & Install the downloaded APK file on your device
Step 4: After installation, open the game & download all the necessary resources. Once the process has complete players may restart the game & enjoy the all-new Titan theme at the battlegrounds.
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