In a recent hacking incident in which accounts of frequent Air India Flyers were hacked, the investigation carried out by the Delhi Police led to the arrest of a 23-year old techie, said Delhi Police on Sunday. The accused, Anitesh Giri Goswami was arrested from Jaipur on Friday, who happened to be a BCA graduate from Pune and has worked in the past as an employee of Air India.
According to Delhi Police, a complaint was lodged in the Cyber Crime Cell of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police; allegations were made in the complaint that some persons were selling Air India tickets. Further charges said that the tickets were acquired after hacking into the accounts of Frequent Flyer members and by the redemption of miles of original Flying Return Members.
According to a statement made by EOW, The whole operation of hacking was conducted from Jodhpur and Anitesh happen to be the mastermind. The police began its investigation after information was received from a local informer and Anitesh was caught red handed from an apartment in Jodhpur, during the raid.
Multiple evidence were recovered from the possession of the accused which includes, a laptop, mobile phones, and some other documents were also recovered. The police further explained that Anitesh was an Information Technology expert who had worked with Air India and Kingfisher Airlines in the past. He was well acquainted with the working of the online ticket-booking system of the company and also with other Internet and Intranet related functionalities of the system.
Further investigation into the matter and questioning of the accused revealed that he first understood the functioning of the ticket booking system and then hacked into the Loyalty Plus Program of Air India, this is how he operated.
After gaining administrator access to the network, he created several other user IDs with the same administrative privileges, said police. With the use of these fake administrative IDs, he revived multiple accounts which happened to be dormant and provided fake KYC (know your customer) documents to these accounts. With that done, he used these accounts and the miles/points accumulated in these accounts for booking airline tickets, and later of these tickets were sold by travel agents in Pune, Jaipur, Delhi, and Mumbai.
It is also noteworthy that he left his Air India job at Jodhpur Airport once he got acquainted with the internal functioning of the ticket booking system to exploit the loopholes of the Frequent Flyers Program’s functioning.