Karnataka CCB arrests hacker in international drug racket case


Software engineer from Jayanagar hacked sites to get data and sold it for bitcoins to fund racket

The Central Crime Branch has arrested a 25-year-old software engineer who was allegedly hacking websites to steal data and money, which he would then convert into bitcoins and use it to purchase drugs from the dark net.

The accused, Sri Krishna, also reportedly carried out ransomware attacks where after hacking a website, he would encrypt data and demand payment from owners for the site to be unlocked.

His modus operandi came to light during an ongoing investigation into an international drug racket where seven people have been arrested, including former Minister Rudrappa Lamani’s son Darshan Lamani and his associates Hemanth and Suneesh Hegde.

Sri Krishna, a resident of Jayanagar, was arrested on Tuesday based on information provided by an accused in the case. “Sri Krishna studied till pre-university in Bengaluru before enrolling in a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he graduated in computer science in 2017,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).

According to the police, he returned to Bengaluru soon after but could not get a job. “He started hacking gaming websites and other sites to steal data, get information on credit/debit cards used by people who accessed the sites, and so on,” s aid a CCB official.

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During this time, he was approached by Suneesh Hegde who was looking to purchase hydro ganja through dealers on the dark net. According to the CCB, Sri Krishna agreed to help them out. “For the last two years, they would buy hydro ganja and other drugs from the dark net and pay with bitcoins. Sri Krishna converted money he got by hacking accounts and websites into bitcoins,” said the police.

The accused confessed that they would have the drugs couriered in consignments and would collect them at the foreign post office in Chamarajpet. One of the accused in the case Sujay M. was arrested on November 14 when he along with Hemanth came to collect the parcel.

Sri Krishna told the police that he also helped organise parties in residential apartments in Sanjay Nagar, star hotels and farmhouses in and around the city where the drugs were sold for a huge profit

He hacked government portal too

It’s not just the Central Crime Branch police who are interested in software engineer Sri Krishna’s activities online. The 25-year-old allegedly hacked the e-procurement website of the Government of Karnataka. A case has been registered with the cybercrime CID.



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Sagar Biswas

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