How the father-son duo helped techs ‘hack exams’ and get high scores for a big paycheck

(From left to right) Rajesh Kumar Shah, Deep Shah and Aklakh Alam | Photo by special arrangement

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New Delhi: Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit dismantled a “module” that would have taken online IT certification exams on behalf of students and professionals aimed at improving their career prospects in companies computer science. Police have so far arrested three people under the cash for points program.

According to police, the brains of the high-tech cheat racket are a father-son duo, Rajesh Kumar Shah and Deep Shah, who run a computer coaching institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Both men are said to have hired Delhi-based technical expert Aklakh Alam to take the exams remotely for clients.

“We have received reports that there are several services available on the dark web, in which hackers claim that they can achieve the desired score by hacking the device used by the candidate,” said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP ) KPS Malhotra at ThePrint. Another police source said the accused charged around Rs 9,000-10,000 and took exams for around 200 clients.

The trio apparently specialize in passing various online technical certification exams. Scoring high in these competitions can help aspiring IT candidates get better internships, DCP Malhotra told ThePrint.

“Various international certifications are prerequisites to improve technical skills. These certifications are provided by a number of reputable organizations – there are certifications from Cisco, CompTIA, EC-Council … said the officer. He added that high scores in these competitions can make a big difference in the career progression of IT aspirants.

“These certifications are adopted around the world by huge IT companies like Microsoft, Google etc. and higher packages are offered to applicants,” another law enforcement source said.

“They have been leading this scam since the Covid-19 epidemic, when all the exams are taken online. The last information we received was [about the] Pearson IT Certification, ”the source added.


Read also: Fake websites, UPI hack – Delhi saw 190% increase in cyber fraud during lockdown, police say


Repression

Based on the intelligence gathered, a Delhi police team arranged for a decoy to pose as an aspirant willing to pay to earn high marks on the CompTIA A + (Core 1) certification exam.

Police say the decoy contacted the hackers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication and then transferred the charges to the account number given to them. After that, the hacker asked the candidate to download software called Iperius Remote.

“Thanks to the software, [the hacker] took control of the participant’s laptop and attempted the exam on October 25. The decoy candidate passed the exam with a score of 736. As a result, a case was registered, ”DCP Malhotra said.

Police first tracked down Deep Shah based on a technical analysis of the cell phone number, bank account and internet IP address.

Operation mode

Police say Deep and his father Rajesh have given potential clients a “100% guarantee” of passing the online certification exams. “Through their training center, they approached candidates who did not have the required knowledge and skills and promised them the desired grade. They also contacted the candidates via WhatsApp and Telegram, ”the DCP said. He added that for actually attempting these exams, the father-son couple hired Alam who “hacked sites for various exams – WS (Amazon Web Services), Azure, CompTIA A +, PMP, CISM, CEH (Cyber Ethical Hacking), etc. remote access via applications ”.

Alam, the police said, holds high-level IT networking certifications and has over 12 years of experience as a level A network design and implementation engineer.

Police say the hackers’ first step was to ask applicants to download remote access software like Ultraviewer, Anydesk, or Iperius Remote. The next step was to install software in the client system that would escape detection by the security software of the company hosting the exam. In addition, they used software that would make it difficult for examiners to detect anomalies in the movements or movements of students. With all of that in place, IT expert Alam would take the exam.

“These competitions are recognized around the world. Exams that were previously held offline are now conducted online through various software. For example, Cisco offers certifications for beginners, associates, tech experts. All of these exams require special knowledge and skills, such as programming, to be graded, ”the police source said.


Read also: Not only CCTV and proctors, CBSE will use data analytics to identify cheating on exams


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