A 19-year-old from Pune was arrested for allegedly hacking the website of Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) and leaking more than 90,000 admit cards for the non-gazetted Group B and Group C cadre examination on a Telegram channel. The exam was held on April 30, 2023. The accused has been identified as Rohit Dattatre Kamble, a resident of Chikhali, Pune, and he was arrested on May 25. One more accused involved in the crime is absconding.
Kamble, a second-year student of cyber and digital science, had also offered a question paper on the Telegram channel, ‘MPSC 2023 A’ on April 23. Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Milind Bharambe said that Kamble was a member of many hacking groups on the darknet.
Hacker was offered $400 by a group on DarkNet
Initial investigation revealed that he was offered $400 by a group on DarkNet to hack a question paper of the MPSC’s non-gazetted Group B and Group C cadres’ examination. Bharambe said that the student had only hacked admit cards and no evidence of the question paper being hacked or shared was found.
However, Kamble’s lifestyle has raised doubts about his source of income. “Kamble is a student and has no fixed source of income. But he was living lavishly and used costly gadgets,” Bharambe said, adding that some cryptocurrency transactions had been detected on DarkNet.
Kamble was pursuing several courses, including one on ‘Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing’, which are tools to evaluate the security of a computer for ethical purposes. “He was a member of hacking groups and he may have been involved in other crimes which are being investigated,” said Bharambe.
Case was registered with Belapur police
The Belapur police registered a case on April 25, after more than 94,000 admit cards for the MPSC non-gazetted Group B and Group C cadres’ exam were leaked on a Telegram channel. The exam was scheduled on April 30 at 1,475 centres across 37 districts.
MPSC Joint Secretary Sunil Harishchandra Avtade approached the Belapur police after he learnt about the illegal downloading of students’ admit cards and their being published on the Telegram channel ‘MPSC 2023 A’ on April 23.
As per the complainant, a total of 4,66,455 candidates were registered for the examination. The admit card or hall tickets of 94,195 students were downloaded illegally and published on the Telegram channel.
According to police, the admit cards for the examination were made available on the MPSC website on April 21, 2023. Since there were a large number of students, the commission also made available a separate link, ‘Admission Certificate’ on its website, https://mpsc.gov.in, under ‘online facilities’. Through the external link, candidates could download the admit card by mentioning their registered mobile number with the commission and entering the OTP. Kamble used the additional link for the illegal download of admit cards.