Maharashtra cyber police, which is probing the Mumbai cyber police station email account compromise matter, has found that the suspicious email was sent to over 1,000 government offices and private persons. A preliminary probe indicated that the unidentified attackers intended to steal confidential information. However, prompt suo-motto action by the state cyber police restricted the impact of the attack. The officers contacted the email recipients and asked them to change their passwords.
“We detected the attack during our regular surveillance and by contacting as many as recipients through calls, emails and other media we managed to reduce the impact of the attack to the minimum by advising them to change the passwords of their email accounts,” said Sanjay Shintre, Superintendent of police, state cyber.
“Attackers may have done this by temporarily hacking the cyber cell email account,” an officer said.
The email was sent from the email ID belonging to the east region cyber police station, and it is in the name of senior inspector Rajesh Shivajirao Nagawade. Nagawade didn’t respond to phone calls.
“It would not be completely correct to say that the cyber police station’s account has been hacked, as they didn’t lose access to it, but email was sent by using their e-mail ID, said a state cyber police officer.
Targeted recipients received suspicious emails under the subject “Terrorists behind JK attacks gunned down in Mumbai.” The email had an attached PDF document named “Report Intelligence.” On clicking the document, the users were directed to a website and their email account got compromised, said a police officer.
Thousands of police offices, government officers and private individuals from Maharashtra, Delhi and other parts of the country had received the phishing email.
“Preliminary inquiry has revealed that the email was sent from Rawalpindi, Punjab province of Pakistan. But we are not sure if the email, in reality, was sent from Pakistan, or the cybercriminals used other methods to show it that it is sent from the servers in Pakistan. It is learnt that an individual from UP was behind creating the PDF document, but nothing much can be shared at this stage. The investigation is on,” an officer said requesting anonymity.