Science and technology was always considered as a means to improve our lifestyle. And that process has led to the invention of the internet. Now, there’s no denying the fact that it has made our lives much easier. We can communicate with people from other countries, exchange information and do so much more. However, as evident by an e-mail hack worth crores of money, the internet has also made our lives very insecure.
According to Times of India, one Kerala man found his way to a Qatar royal family’s e-mail account and extracted huge sums of money illegally.
The Kerala police reported that they had nabbed a 47-year-old man for fraud. The person in question is Sunil Menon. He had successfully hacked the e-mail id of a Qatar royal family and managed to obtain ₹ 5.2 crore. The probable reason he knew this family had that amount of money is because Sunil has worked in Qatar for the past 15 years.
Although the process of hacking an e-mail id sounds easy, it isn’t. That’s because Sunil had to convince the Qatar family and the museum they were associated with that they were doing a business deal worth crores of money.
As reported by the police, Sunil first offered to sell some gold-plated paintings (that’s right!) of Qatar Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Qatar Museum Authority. Then he hacked his sister, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s e-mail id to send a confirmation mail to the museum that they’re selling it to an American.
Now, Sunil obviously took the role of the American under the false name of Jerome Napoleon. Then he told the museum to transfer ₹ 5.2 crore to Napoleon through Sheikha’s e-mail id. Additionally, he directed the museum to transfer the amount to his actual account. Surprisingly enough, the museum did exactly that. However, IT experts suspected that there was something fishy.
It’s quite okay to assume that museums won’t have a robust cyber-security division. However, it’s a little immature to think that they won’t be able to differentiate between a real e-mail id and a fake one.
Once the deal was done, Qatar Museum’s financial analysis unit raised questions about the e-mail’s content. Additionally, they came to the conclusion that the e-mail id of Napoleon was actually a fake one. And that’s when they filed a complaint to Thrissur SP MK Pushkaran.
As soon as the complaint was filed, Kerala police took some very swift actions. Firstly, they froze the fixed deposit of ₹ 4.5 crore in Sunil’s name. Then they seized his jeep. And finally they extracted a sum of ₹ 1.5 lakh that Sunil had kept in cash.
So, if you are wondering where it all went wrong, here’s the answer. Sunil must’ve thought that since he has worked in Qatar, he knows his way around it. However, he didn’t know that Shafeek (the person who filed the complaint) hails from Kozhikode and probably has the ability to detect a Keralite when he sees one. And thanks to him, Menon has been arrested before he could flee the country, like so many others.