BENGALURU: In a significant breakthrough, the Bengaluru city police have successfully apprehended a hacker suspected of illicitly using stolen reward points and vouchers to purchase luxury goods online. The police action followed complaints lodged by Reward360, a leading rewards and loyalty program provider after several of its customers reported issues accessing their accumulated points.
The accused has been identified as Bommaluru Lakshmipathi, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. Lakshmipathi, who had been living in Dubai for several years post-graduation, had recently moved to Bengaluru for work.
B Dayananda, the Police Commissioner of Bengaluru, in a media briefing, said, “The South East Division police successfully nabbed a cybercriminal who masterminded a hacking scheme targeting Reward360’s server. He meticulously gathered data about the reward points and vouchers that the company distributed to its customers. By exploiting this, he purchased luxury goods, including substantial gold and silver, cumulatively worth Rs 4.16 crore.”
Reward360, the company at the center of this cyber breach, took immediate action by filing a complaint with the cyber police after being alerted by its clientele. The company has been cooperating with the authorities to ensure that such a breach does not recur in the future. Such incidents underline the importance of robust cybersecurity measures, especially for firms handling large quantities of customer data.
Upon his arrest, a significant haul of assets was seized from Lakshmipathi. This included gold and silver, a cash stash amounting to Rs 11 lakh, and as many as seven high-end motorcycles.
Delving deeper into Lakshmipathi’s background, it was discovered that he had always shown a keen interest in hacking and online data management since his college days at IIIT Ongole. His expertise spans both legal and illegal data handling domains. The police believe that his academic background in BTech, combined with his professional experience in Dubai, likely provided him with the technical proficiency to execute such a sophisticated hack.
However, this incident also throws light on the growing threat of cybercrime in the country. The digital age, while presenting myriad conveniences, also opens the door to new forms of crime, as evident from this case. Entities, be they corporations or individuals, need to remain vigilant and continuously update their cybersecurity protocols to keep pace with the evolving strategies of cybercriminals.
B Dayananda also highlighted the commendable work of the South East Division police in cracking the case and apprehending the accused in a timely manner. He emphasized the importance of timely reporting in such cases, praising Reward360 for its swift action which enabled the police to prevent further misuse of stolen data.
The Bengaluru police are now working in collaboration with other jurisdictions to ascertain if Lakshmipathi has committed similar crimes elsewhere. As the investigation progresses, they are optimistic about unearthing further details that could shed light on the full extent of his activities.
This incident underscores the intricate balance inherent in the world of technology, a realm that possesses both light and shadow. On one hand, technology stands as a testament to human innovation, streamlining countless processes and adding unparalleled convenience to various facets of our daily lives. It has transformed the way we communicate, work, and engage with the world around us. However, on the flip side, the very tools that bring us together and simplify our lives can also be wielded by malicious actors intent on exploiting the unprepared and unaware.
While filled with potential, the vast digital landscape also harbors dark corners where cybercriminals lurk, waiting to capitalize on vulnerabilities. As we navigate this increasingly interconnected world, it’s paramount that we prioritize staying informed, regularly updating our knowledge and systems, and maintaining a heightened sense of vigilance. This proactive approach is our best bet in safeguarding ourselves against the evolving threats of the digital age.