Official email IDs of 11 from SEBI compromised, 34 mails sent by unknown accused; FIR lodged

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OFFICIAL EMAIL ids of 11 officials of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) were compromised by an unknown persons, who used them to send 34 emails in May. Based on a complaint from a SEBI official, an FIR was registered on July 16 and further investigation is on.
The complainant is an assistant manager with the IT department of SEBI, which looks after the cyber-security of the regulatory body. On May 24, a manager in the regulatory body informed the complainant that his official email id was used by some unknown person on May 23 to send an email to a person, who works in a private company. The manager claimed that someone illegally accessed his email account and sent the email following which the IT department conducted an internal investigation.
They learnt that some miscreants illegally gained access to 11 official email id accounts of 11 SEBI officials and used them to send 34 emails. All the emails were sent between 8.42 pm to 9.13 pm on May 23.
The complainant told police that the unknown accused “stole SEBI’s electronic data and impersonated SEBI officials to send the emails and defamed SEBI”. Based on the complaint. an FIR has been registered under Sections 419 (impersonation for cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 43 A (accesses or secures access to such computer, computer system or computer network) and 66 C (identity theft) of the Information and Technology Act.
When asked why SEBI took over a month to file the complaint, an officer from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) police station said, “They carried out an internal investigation and after ascertaining that their email ids were hacked, they decided to file a complaint.”
An official spokesperson from SEBI said, “It was a small incident. CERT-IN is fully in the loop. No sensitive data was lost. The root cause has been diagnosed and fixed. Prevention for the future has been fully implemented.”
A press statement issued by the regulatory body on the incident reads, “A cyber security incident has been noticed on the e-mail system of SEBI, which was undergoing a system upgrade. Various mitigation measures were immediately taken in response to the said cyber security incident, including informing the CERT-IN as per the standard operating procedure, strengthening the required security configuration of the system, etc. SEBI constantly monitors its detection and prevention systems and has taken additional measures post the incident to tighten the security procedures.”

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