Pune: Another firm falls prey to ‘man in the middle’ online fraud

The cyber attack took place in the third week of October.

THE Pimpri Chinchwad Police’s Cyber Crime Cell has launched a probe into yet another ‘man-in-the-middle’ cyber attack in which a private company in Bhosari lost Rs 14.5 lakh over a fraudulent email. The Cyber Crime Cell has issued an advisory to the companies, asking them to be careful about this kind of fraud.

A First Information Report in this regard was registered at Bhosari MIDC police station late on Tuesday by the managing director of the Bhosari-based company. The cyber attack took place in the third week of October. The cyber criminals are suspected to have hacked into the email address of the Bhosari-based company and gained access to the details of its ongoing communication with a Nashik-based metal components company.

The fraudsters are suspected to have created a fake mail address resembling that of the Nashik-based company and continued communication about the financial dealing. The Bhosari-based company then transferred Rs 14.5 lakh to a bank account belonging to the cyber criminals. The complaint was registered after the fraud came to light and the Cyber Crime Cell conducted the primary inquiry.

“This is not the first time that the companies in Pimpri-Chinchwad area have been cheated in the ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack. There have been four such cases in the past three months. In two of those cases we have facilitated the return of the siphoned amount,” said Senior Inspector Sudhakar Kate of Pimpri Chinchwad Police’s Cyber Crime Cell.

He added, “We have issued an advisory to avoid this particular type of attack. We urge companies and businesses to follow them.”

In October, the Cyber Crime Cell facilitated the return of US dollars worth almost Rs 50 lakh, which were transferred by two companies in the city, which fell prey to the fraud, to foreign bank accounts. In the first case, a company in Chinchwad, which was in communication with a Chinese company from which it had purchased a particular product, transferred US$ 62,010 to a fraudulent account in August.

In another case, a company ended up transferring US$ 8,420 to a fraudulent account. In both these cases, the money was returned to the companies after sustained efforts from the cyber cell.