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Pakistani spies call illegal Indian telephone exchanges to obtain secret information | India News

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BENGALURU / NEW DELHI: A call from a Pakistani spy agency to an army facility in eastern India has led to the dismantling of an illegal telephone exchange in Bengaluru, raising questions about whether similar systems were operational in other parts of the country. country, officials said Thursday. .
All the uproar was blown up by the Military Intelligence wing of the Army Southern Command, which had intercepted the call received at the Army facility in eastern India a few weeks ago.
During the call, a spy from Pakistan inquired about general details while posing as a superior officer.
In a further investigation, intelligence detectives found that some other offices located in various formations, such as the Movement Control Office (MCO) as well as the Chief Defense Account Comptroller (PCDA) were also receiving calls seeking details. from them.
Further investigation led to the discovery of the scam in which Pakistani-based intelligence agents exploited such illegal exchanges to route their calls to connect with Indian nationals and obtain information on military installations.
Officials said Pakistani intelligence agents have adopted the modus operandi of investing in illegal call exchanges that change Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls to normal Indian mobile calls.
To execute this illegal operation, SIM boxes running a parallel illegal telephone exchange are used.
The officials explained that a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) box, also known as a SIM bank, is a hardware-based device used in the telecommunications sector for the termination of direct communication from the Global System of Mobile Communications. (GSM).
An operator uses a technology called SIM card ‘migration’, in which SIM card registration jumps across different GSM modules with a specific frequency, leading to multiple GSM gateways located in a city or town, and the system creates an illusion. of the movement of a real user showing that the call is made from different gateways.
This helps prevent a SIM card from being blocked by service providers or detected by government agencies.
The operation of these illegal exchanges not only incurs losses for cellular networks but also for the government, since it is an unregistered operation, and the money generated is not accounted for and is not subject to taxes, which can be used to support activities anti-nationals. without leaving a trace of money.
Officials said the “adversary nation” has been found to use these illegal SIMs often to obtain confidential information and maintain contact with its agents who have entered the country.
The scandal came to light after the Bengaluru police counterterrorism cell, with the help of Southern Command military intelligence, detained two men conducting an illegal telephone exchange, turning international calls into local calls, causing a huge loss of income and posing a threat to national security.
They were seized 32 SIM Box devices, which can use 960 SIM cards at a time, they said.
Ibrahim Mullatti Bin Mohammed Kutty, a native of Malappuram in Kerala, and Gautham B Vishwanathan of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu had placed the 32 devices in six areas of the city to carry out their illegal activities.
After the termination of a VoIP call, the same call is also generated on the destination phone and the number appears as that of an Indian number.
The Indian Army has issued many notices and written POEs to prevent leakage through these means. However, a large number of civilian personnel are still victims of the scam.



Times of India

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