Scammers Exploit 'Man-in-the-Middle' Technique, Pune Construction Tech Firm Loses Rs 13 Lakh

Prominent Construction Technology Company falls victim to cyber attack, losing Rs 13.8 Lakh in Pune, India. The investigators described it as a "man-in-the-middle” cyber attack technique. The company's assistant manager filed the FIR at Mundhwa Police Station on Sunday, marking the commencement of the investigation. As per Ajit Lakade, Senior Police Inspector, the fraudulent scheme took place approximately a year ago when a stone-crushing machine got damaged at the firm. In response, the company's officials resorted to email correspondence with another company that supplies stone crushers. During this time, the representative of the company received an email that appeared to be legitimate, belonging to the aforementioned party. However, they were not aware that fraudulent individuals sent the email. The message requested the construction tech representative to transfer the payment to a specified account in "Lloyds Bank PLC." Obliging, the company made an online transaction of Rs 13,80,772 to the indicated bank account between May and August 2022. Unfortunately, the construction tech company never received the promised product for which the payment was made. Upon realizing they had fallen victim to fraud, the company officials promptly lodged a complaint with the Pune City Police.
"The complaint has been verified by the Cyber Police Station and forwarded to Mundhwa Police Station for further investigation," said Ajit Lakade, Senior Inspector. As per reports, the police have registered a case against unidentified individuals under sections 419, 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. Authorities are diligently examining the two email addresses used by the cyber fraudsters to communicate with the construction company officials in Pune. Simultaneously, they are also investigating the bank account into which the company transferred the money, suspecting it to be linked to cyber criminals or their associates. Explaining the method of such "man-in-the-middle" cyber attacks, the police clarified that the perpetrators gain access to email accounts belonging to either party involved in a business transaction. By intercepting communications, the hackers gather detailed information about the ongoing dealings. Subsequently, they create an email account closely resembling the genuine participant's address and mislead them into depositing the funds into an account controlled by the hackers. Prior instances of "man-in-the-middle" cyber attacks have been reported, highlighting the need for heightened vigilance and security measures. The investigation is underway as authorities work diligently to identify and apprehend the culprits behind this cyber scam, aiming to bring them to justice and prevent future occurrences of such fraudulent activities.

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Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 24 August 2023

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