Pakistani spy, alias Sejal Kapoor targeted Indian armed force officials

A recent investigation revealed how a Pakistani spy on Facebook named Sejal Kapoor hacked into the computers of 98 Indian defence officials since 2015. She was also involved in the leak of classified files of BrahMos missile in 2018.

It has been revealed that the hacker targeted officials from Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary forces and state police personnel in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab between 2015 and 2018, reported TOI.

The hacker deceived her targets by sharing pictures and videos using a software malware called "Whisper", which is reported to be connected to a third-party server in a West Asian country.

Sejal's involvement in last year's leakage of sensitive technical information to Pakistan was also established in the recent investigation.

In 2018, an engineer working at the BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, Nishant Agarwal, was arrested for providing technical information on BrahMos missiles to Pakistan in a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) as well as the Military Intelligence (MI).

It was then revealed that Agarwal exchanged sensitive information to Pakistan spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) based on evidence found on his personal computer and Facebook chat records.

Apart from the "Whisper" application, another software that the spy used was "Gravity Rat." The Indian intelligence agencies say that both the software use "self-aware" detection techniques as well as VPN hiding mechanism that enables a hacker to use around 25 internet addresses. The complex malware technology is stated to not be easily identified by anti-malware software.

The five dozen chats recently uncovered by intelligence agency revealed that Sejal would "force install" the Whisper app on computers of the targeted officials, reported TOI.

"Instantly, after getting downloaded, the malware first prompts the user to key in a code. It's to ensure that the app is not a virus or malware. Immediately after that, it scans all latest attachments sent from the computer in emails or downloads. It then scans all files with photographs, databases of MS Word and MS Excel, by first verifying their encryption keys and then opening their passwords," said a senior intelligence officer, reported TOI.

According to Sejal's Facebook profile, the hacker is an employer of a company called "Growth Company" in Manchester, the UK. Experts have claimed that such cases of armed force officials "honey-trapped" into sharing classified information are a threat to India's national security.

Last year, a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier was arrested by Uttar Pradesh ATS on September 18 for sharing key information about the unit's operations to a female Pakistan ISI agent, who claimed to be a defence reporter.