dna exclusive: W Asia callers hack Bangalore IT firm phone lines

Sunday, 5 January 2014 - 1:14pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Unidentified callers from a West Asian country managed to hack the firewall of an international video conferencing equipment of an IT company in the city, and make calls to Afghanistan.

Police say that the hacking by the West Asia-based callers was obviously an attempt to communicate with their Afghan associates, while avoiding being detected and located. Police are looking at possible terror links, but refuse to make guesses.

Finding who made the calls could be difficult as Indian police are handicapped by the lack of treaties for exchanging information with police forces in many countries, more so in West Asia.

The anonymous callers hacked the phone lines of Sonata Software Limited, situated at Sonata Towers in Global Village in Pattanegere near Kengeri.

In his complaint to police, Sonata Software assistant vice-president R Sathyanarayan said that the life-sized international video conferencing equipment was connected to four ISDN lines and was also connected to internet to enable the company employees to initiate video conferencing with their clients.

Kengeri police, who registered the case, said the hacking took place in November, 2013.

According to sources, police verified the logs of the system and found that the calls were made to Afghanistan.

Sonata has no business connection in Afghanistan, nor clients in that country. The company informed police that an internal investigation found that none of the employees were involved. 
The calls were made after the office hours by unauthorised access through internet.

Interestingly, a similar incident happened in Sonata’s Hyderabad office in June, 2013. Police suspect that the same persons could be involved in both the cases.

Police said that they are investigating the case in detail to eliminate any possible external threat to the company and also society at large. An officer said it could be a terror module, the likes of which were now using hi-tech to spread terrorism in India, but were not willing to hazard guesses about the identity of the group involved.

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