Absolutely Terrifying APP: Easy Loans by 1 Allows Hackers to Access Data of 13,500 People | Ahmedabad News
A farmer in Himmatnagar learned this the hard way after downloading apps that allowed cyber-recovery agents to hack into not just his phone, but all of his contacts, and their contacts. Using his unique number, cybercriminals infiltrated the phones of 13,498 people and attempted to extort money from them all.
Sources from the cybercrime unit investigating the case said: “Apps offering quick and easy loans without the hassle of paperwork are available to download online. While some install malware on users’ phones, others force the user to allow access to their contact list, photo gallery and locations during installation,” an official said. cybercrime.
The officer added, “If the user is unable to repay the requested money, which is usually exorbitant in relation to the loan taken out, cybercriminals threaten to post altered photos belonging to the borrower online. The criminals even call people on the user’s contact list to embarrass the borrower or threaten their relatives.
Sometimes things don’t end there. “Once criminals have hacked into a cell phone, they use the contact list to expand the network and multiply their victims. They send a web link or a fake message from a helpline that contains a phone number and a web link to their victims. By clicking on this link, crooks can take control of victim’s phone and all their private data including photographs, videos, frequently visited locations, websites and documents. The crooks use it to extort or blackmail their new victims,” the officer said.
In the case of Himmatnagar farmer, Krunal Patel, there were only 750 contacts in his phone book. The cyber crooks hacked into his contacts’ phones and then into their contacts’ phones and ended up sneaking into the phones of 13,498 contacts. They extorted between Rs 25 to 35 lakh from these people, police said.
A cybercrime official said he has so far not found the involvement of gangs from other states in the case. “We have spotted dubious apps offering easy loans to a few people from Ahmedabad, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha. They created the loaner apps and uploaded them to GooglePlay from where innocent targets download them,” the officer said.
Police said there have been instances where an app was created and downloaded using the dark web. It left no digital trail, making it nearly impossible to track down the creators and catch them. The only way to stay safe is to avoid downloading an unknown or new app without proper research, police advised.