Malicious emails sent from 11 hacked SEBI IDs, officials say

As many as 35 emails with malicious links have been sent to various accounts using hacked SEBI email accounts.

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The Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has filed a first information report (FIR) about a cybersecurity incident on its email system.

According to the report, filed last week, the email accounts of 11 officials were hacked by unknown persons. SEBI officials disclosed that the incident took place while the email system was undergoing a system upgrade, reporting that no sensitive information was stolen.

The incident was first brought to the notice of Varunkumar Kishan Gopal, assistant manager of IT at SEBI (BKC), when he received a complaint from Integrated Surveillance Department (ISD) manager Abhijit Chandrakant, on 23rd May.

Chandrakant suspected that his official email ID was being used by an unknown person.

On further investigation through SEBI's disaster recovery site, Gopal found that the email accounts of 11 SEBI officials had been hacked. As many as 34 emails had been sent to various accounts using the hacked IDs.

SEBI confirmed that various mitigation measures were immediately taken, including informing the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), and implementing necessary security reconfigurations.

It was noted that all the sent emails from hacked accounts had a link attached in the mail body, indicating a potential malicious upload if clicked.

A case of cheating by personation (section 419 under IPC), compensation for failure to protect data (section 43A), and identity theft (66 C under the Information Technology Act 2000) was registered at the BKC police station.

"Various mitigation measures were immediately taken in response to the said cyber security incident including, informing CERT-IN as per the standard operating procedure, strengthening the required security configuration of the system, etc. SEBI    constantly monitors its detection and prevention systems and has taken additional  measures post the incident to tighten the security procedures for the implementation and migration activities," SEBI said in a press release.

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