Data Breach News

Hawk Eye App Data Breach: Telangana Police Arrest Hacker

The Cyber Express report led the police to arrest a 20-year-old student behind which exposed info of 200,000 Telangana citizens

by Krishna Murthy June 11th, 2024

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In a massive breakthrough, an exclusive news report published by The Cyber Express has led to the arrest of a hacker who threatened to sell sensitive data of 200,000 citizens in Telangana State in India.

The Hawk Eye App Data Breach was reported by The Cyber Express on May 31, 2024, which stated how a hacker claimed to reveal personal information of users of Hawk Eye, a popular citizen-friendly app of the Telangana State police.

Source: Hawk Eye App on Android

The Telangana Police further acknowledged that the news report on The Cyber Express gave them crucial leads that led to the arrest of the hacker.

In the First Information Report (FIR), a written document prepared by the police in India to detail a cognizable offence, the Telangana Police revealed that it was based exclusively on this report by The Cyber Express, that they were also able to verify the data breach on the Hawk Eye app.

Background of Hawk Eye App Data Breach

The Hawk Eye App was launched by the Telangana Police in December 2014 for both Android and iPhone users as part of its initiative to become a citizen-friendly and responsive police force.

Denizens were encouraged to use the app to report on a wide range of activities, including traffic violations, passing on information about criminals, violations by police, and crime against women, and also to pass on suggestions to the lawmen for improved policing and to credit the good work done by them. A key feature of the app is the SOS button for accessing help in case of emergencies.

On May 29, 2024, a threat actor, who goes by the name “Adm1nFr1end”, revealed that he had breached the Hawk Eye app. He shared that the stolen database had sensitive data of over 200,000 citizens, including their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), names, email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, IMEI numbers, and location coordinates.

The threat actor had posted samples of the data breach on hacking website BreachForums and was selling this compromised data for USD $150.

Source: X Arrest of Hawk Eye App Data Breach Hacker

In the aftermath of the news report published on this website, the Telangana Police registered a suo moto case on June 4.

“We have registered a case and are investigating the hacking allegations and suspected data breach,” said Telangana Cyber Security Bureau (TGCSB) Director Shikha Goel.

On June 9, the Telangana Police reported that its Cyber Security Bureau has apprehended a hacker involved in the Hawk Eye app data breach.

“Acting swiftly, the TGCSB investigators travelled to Delhi, where they identified and arrested the hacker, who had claimed to have posted the compromised data on a public platform for a price,” the police said in a statement.

Sharing details of the arrest, Director General of Police of Telangana Police, Ravi Gupta, who is the top cop of the state, said that the police had used advanced tools to successfully unveil the hacker’s identity. He, however, refrained from elaborating on the techniques used to arrest the hacker to ensure secrecy.

“The hacker had posted details of the breach on databreachforum.st, offering the compromised data for sale at $150 USD. He provided the Telegram IDs “Adm1nfr1end” and “Adm1nfr1ends” for interested buyers to contact him regarding the Hawk Eye data,” Ravi said.

The alleged hacker was identified as Jatin Kumar, a 20-year-old student and a resident of Greater Noida, a prominent suburb in Delhi’s National Capital Region. The police also shared that he was arrested earlier in a case for cybersecurity fraud.

(This is Part 1 of the article. Click here to learn more about the hacker, why he was selling the data and how the police tracked him down)

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