Odisha teenager arrested for hacking Hyderabad company’s toll free number and causing loss worth $89,000

A 19-year-old villager from Odisha was arrested by the police today for hacking into a Hyderabad-based company, causing a loss of Rs. 60 lakh. While the accused did not know how to speak English, he was an active member of many hacking forums.

Himalaya Mohanty, a native of Balasore district of Odisha who studies at an ITI, allegedly learnt computer hacking on a website and managed to get the code of an EPABX of toll-free number of the customer care centre of Lloyd Electricals and Engineering Ltd. According to reports, Mohanty used a mobile phone to upload the code online along with the toll-free number of Lloyd by creating his own website.

“Thousands of net surfers made free calls by using the code and the company received a hefty bill of about Rs. 60 lakh,” a police press release said.

In November, Lloyd company had received telephone bills for a whopping $89,000 (Rs.60 lakh) for the toll-free number, which they operate for their customers. The typical monthly bill for the toll-free number for Lloyd is $1500 (Rs. 1 lakh).

Mohanty learned hacking skills and finally ended up hacking Lloyd’s toll-free number using his ‘3’ display mobile phone. “Mohanty enabled the option of outgoing facility by hacking into the system. He uploaded the link of Lloyd along with a code, which a user has to enter after dialling the toll-free number and followed by the number the person intends to call,” told Cybercrime inspector Riyazuddin.

According to police, Mohanty, posted a message on his website to contact him for learning hacking skills. “When people contacted him using their phones, he used to hack their phones by sending a Trojan (virus) and used to track their movements. However, all this was done by him without gaining financial benefit,” the police said.

Though Mohanty used proxy servers, the cybercrime police was able to locate the IP address and arrest him at his village in Balasore district. “In spite of his poor English, he got himself registered in various forums/websites of hacking and participating in chatting by using translator software….he did not gain monetarily in this case,” the police release said, adding that he told the officers that he did it only for fun. Currently, he is spending time in jail.

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