The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Sunday Times reported that an Indian cyber gang preyed on Pakistani parliamentarians, military officials, and diplomats to listen in on their private conversations.
Using an Indian hacker gang, private British detectives were snooping on dozens of notable persons at the order of “autocratic” authorities, according to evidence gleaned from leaked documents and undercover reporting carried out in India by the reporters of the aforementioned organizations. The former military leader General Pervez Musharraf is referred to in the article as being “the most famous Pakistan-related target.”
On January 10 of this year, Fawad Chaudhry—at the time the minister of information—had his email account hijacked. The Sunday Times and The Bureau purportedly observed the hacker “take a snapshot of Chaudhry’s email.” Aditya Jain, 31, a sporadic TV cybersecurity analyst, is the brains of the hacker team known as WhiteInt, which was operating out of a fourth-floor apartment in a Gurugram neighborhood, an Indian tech hub. According to the statement, Jain’s crew used malware to seize control of his computers and similarly attacked the country’s senior generals as well as its embassies in Beijing, Shanghai, and Kathmandu.
According to the report, Mr. Jain admitted to “hacking persons in the past,” but he also said he “did not know some of the people named on his database and denied hacking the others listed.” The inquiry found that Mr. Jain was in charge of a team of hackers who worked for British private detectives for seven years to steal targets’ email accounts and take over their computers’ cameras and microphones. Criminals allegedly targeted the private email accounts of over 100 victims, including Qatar critics who promised to expose wrongdoing by the Gulf state in the run-up to this month’s World Cup.
Although he recognized that Qatar was the initiative’s main client, Mr. Jain was hired for the project by Swiss-based investigator Jonas Rey to go after the critics. The report added that the counsel for the Qatari government had denied the allegations. The research revealed that Mr. Jain had at least seven British private detectives as clients. A number of the targets, including Ashok Hinduja and Robert Tchenguiz, two of the wealthiest families in the UK, were British lawyers and wealthy family members, the investigation claims.
Other targets included Sunday Times Insight Editor Jonathan Calvert, BBC Political Editor Chris Mason, President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis and his deputy Alain Berset, Former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, London-based businessman Ghanem Nuseibeh, French politician Nathalie Goulet, British-based oligarch fleeing Vladimir Putin, Former Head of European Football Michel Platini, Formula One motor racing bosses Ruth Buscombe and Otmar Szafnauer, Nick Raudenski, a former FIFA and UEFA investigator, Alan Suderman of the Associated Press, Mark Somos, a German attorney, and Yann Philippin, a French investigative journalist.