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The bureau of investigative journalism: Indian Hackers snooped on Pakistani politicians, generals

Fawad Chaudhry, who was the information minister at the time, had his email account stolen on January 10 of this year. The hacker allegedly “took a screenshot of Chaudhry’s inbox,” which was seen by the Sunday Times and The Bureau.

According to TBIJ and the Sunday Times, targets included those who criticised the World Cup in Qatar.

The report said, “Jain’s team used malware to seize control of his computers and similarly targeted the country’s senior generals as well as its embassies in Beijing, Shanghai, and Kathmandu.”

The leader of the hacker group, known as WhiteInt, is 31-year-old Aditya Jain, a sporadic cybersecurity expert on television. The group was operating out of a fourth-floor flat in a Gurugram neighbourhood.

The article claims that while Mr. Jain acknowledged having “hacked persons in the past,” he also asserted that he “did not know some of the people named on his database and denied hacking the others listed.”

According to the article, Mr. Jain oversaw a network of hackers for seven years who were employed by British private investigators to breach targets’ email accounts and seize control of their computers’ cameras and microphones.

Criminals allegedly targeted more than 100 victims’ private email accounts, including critics of Qatar who threatened to reveal misconduct by the Gulf state in the lead-up to this month’s World Cup.

Mr. Jain said that a Swiss-based investigator named Jonas Rey hired him for the project to target the critics, but he did admit that Qatar was the initiative’s primary client. The report also stated that the accusations have been refuted by the Qatari government’s attorneys.

At least seven British private investigators were among Mr. Jain’s customers, according to the investigation.

According to the study, several of the targets were British lawyers and wealthy family members, including Ashok Hinduja and Robert Tchenguiz, two of the wealthiest families in the UK.

Other targets included the Sunday Times Insight editor Jonathan Calvert, the BBC’s political editor Chris Mason, the presidents of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis and Alain Berset, the former chancellor of the UK’s exchequer Philip Hammond, a businessman from London named Ghanem Nuseibeh, a politician from France named Nathalie Goulet, a British oligarch fleeing Vladimir Putin, the former head of European football Michel Platini

Neha Ayub
Written By

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