LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested a hacker, Wasiullah Khan (25), on Tuesday from the bustling Rajajipuram area, shedding light on a sophisticated web of espionage involving Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Unraveling the Conspiracy
Wasiullah Khan’s arrest unfolded following meticulous scrutiny of digital records linked to Shailendra Pratap Singh Chauhan’s interrogation. Chauhan, previously detained for purportedly spying for the ISI and transmitting critical military information across borders in September 2023, revealed Khan’s involvement during questioning.
Addressing the media, Additional DG of ATS, Mohit Agarwal, disclosed, “Wasiullah surfaced during our investigation into Shailendra’s activities. He’s a tech-savvy individual, holding a Btech degree, deeply entrenched in cyber expertise.”
Digital Connections and Illicit Dealings
According to ATS officials, Khan was an active member of an ISI-controlled WhatsApp group, acting as a nexus for cyber hackers and ISI agents. Investigations uncovered Khan’s modus operandi; he predominantly operated as a cyber hacker, utilizing cryptocurrency to ensure clandestine transactions as per ISI directives.
“ISI funneled a staggering Rs 25 lakh into Wasiullah’s account, subsequently channeled to Shailendra,” stated the ATS, hinting at transactions potentially worth crores, presently under scrutiny due to Khan’s apparent lack of legitimate financial activities.
Admittance of Greed and Collaboration
Confronted by authorities, Khan confessed to succumbing to avarice, admitting complicity in the ISI conspiracy by misusing his bank account at the agency’s behest.
“We’ve confiscated Wasiullah’s mobile phone and laptop, forwarded for forensic audit to trace his extensive network,” mentioned an officer involved in the ongoing investigation.
Ties Beyond ISI: Involvement with Chinese Hackers
Beyond affiliations with ISI, investigations unveiled Khan’s association with Chinese hackers. These hackers provided Khan with confidential credit card details from foreign nations where transactions circumvented the need for One-Time Passwords (OTPs).
“Further probing necessitates bringing the accused on remand to uncover more insights,” confirmed ATS officials, highlighting the depth of the intricate cyber network.
Ongoing Investigation and Future Steps
The detained individual’s association with both ISI and Chinese hackers underscores the complexity of contemporary cyber espionage. The ATS is relentless in its pursuit of unearthing the complete extent of Khan’s involvement, initiating steps to delve deeper into this intricate web of illicit activities.
As the investigation progresses, authorities remain vigilant in dismantling such networks that threaten national security, aiming to prevent the misuse of technology for nefarious purposes.
The arrest of Wasiullah Khan serves as a stark reminder of the multifaceted challenges posed by cyber threats, necessitating continuous vigilance and proactive measures in safeguarding sensitive information and national interests.