June 2003, Sachin Deshpande and Jeevan Palani signed separate
agreements with CC Avenue to provide Web designing services through
their sites www.infocreek.org and www.ewebsitestarter.com.
company's risk-management team found that both these sites had
ripped off content and even the client list from foreign sites with
similar names. The modus operandi was similar to Amit's.
Patel, the CEO of CC Avenue, spoke to Sachin over the phone and
found that he sounded just like Amit - "young and
immature". They decided to hold back payment.
a person called Shoaib Sharif sought the services of CC Avenue.
Vishwas and his team again spotted a similar pattern. They held back
payment on various pretexts. "He sounded desperate," says
Vishwas. So they decided to trap him.
Avenue's accounts manager asked Shoaib to come to Mumbai to collect
a cheque of Rs 40,000.
August 21, a young man walked into Vishwas's office. He introduced
himself as Shoaib Sharif. Vishwas immediately recognized him as Amit.
(He had seen Amit's photograph from his driver's license).
then called the Mumbai Police, who rushed to his office and picked
up the lad. At the Santa Cruz police station, the boy confessed
his confession, Amit has not yet been booked under the cyber crime
laws. Senior Inspector Kishore Patil said they would treat it as a
case of fraud.
explains, "The biggest flaw in the IT Act is that credit card
fraud is not covered. The lawmakers have framed the Act mainly to
ensure the safety of individual digital certification
in t-shirt and jeans, Amit looks like any other collegian. But when
this 21-year-old speaks of his exploits, he assumes the air of an
got some credit-card details through a popular hacker chat room. But
he created the rest. He explains, "Each credit card has a
country code number, a bank code number and then some other digits.
If you find out these first two sets of numbers, it is very easy to
create a credit card number. That's what I did."
then used proxy servers to camouflage his real location and pass CC
Avenue's IP checks.
am Sachin Deshpande. I am Jeevan Palani," he says with a smile.
He created different accounts with the HDFC and ICICI banks with
these names. Posing as an office boy, he opened an ICICI bank
account for his 'boss' Shoaib Sharif.
Vishwas, "This reminds me of Leo's movie, 'Catch me if you
seems proud of what he's done. Initially he did run a Web designing
business. But when he signed up with CC Avenue, he got interested in
their processes. He studied them closely and cut through them.
brother Anil says they were aware that Amit had launched a Web site.
But they knew nothing of the fraud. In his confession, Amit
corroborated his brother's statement.
says he used the money to pay capitation fees at the engineering
college where he studies. But he continued to defraud CC Avenue
because "it was easy".
to him, Vishwas is amazed at the boy's knowledge of the system.
says, "He has tremendous talent. I don't want to ruin his
career. That's why I hope he will use his intelligence to plug
security holes rather than exploit them."