Friday, 17 December 2010

Credit car fraudsters mislead cyber crime investigators

By U Sudhakar Reddy
Credit card fraudsters are adopting newest methods to dupe the card holders to the tune of lakhs of rupees and to
mislead the cyber crime investigators. After stealing the card details by using wireless skimmers the online
criminals are using spoofing technique to produce proxy Internet Protocol address. This makes the job of cyber crime police tough and
the fraudsters are untraced. Cyber forensic expert of State Crime Investigation Department Mr U Ram Mohan says ,"there are several cases of credit card are reported with us. Out of around 50 cyber crime cases most of them are either credit card fraud or Nigerian cheating cases. At petrol pumps, restaurant, shopping malls and during online use of cards the details of
the card are stolen. They are using skimmers to copy the date when the card is handed over to them,"
The data is then used to for online shopping and online purchase of tickets. The cyber criminals are using blue tooth for transferring the
stolen card numbers.
Cyber crime police station inspector of police Mr Ravi Kumar Reddy said ,"In most cases registered with us the accused are using the credit card details for buying the air tickets. They are using spoofing technique so that the IP address is not traced,"
In one of the cases registered with the CID cyber crime police station the accused used IP spoofing. Though it is suspected that he had
purchased the tickets locally the IP address traced to Malaysia.
"when they buy domestic air tickets it is very difficult to trace. In the international tickets cases at least passport number help us to track the user of the ticket. In one of the case it tracked to a gulf unskilled
employee who said the agent had given him. We are yet to trace the person who actually stolen the credit card details and using spoofing," said an investigator. Cyber crime officials say that credit card holders shall always stay near when they are swiped.

Cobra Man Snake Raj Kumar dies of Mosquito bite cerebral malaria

By U Sudhakar Reddy
Friend of snakes K Raj Kumar who escaped venomous sanke bites 29 times had fallen to mosquito bite. Raj Kumar passed away
due to cerebral malaria at a city hospital on Monday morning. Ophiologist Raj Kumar who was featured by Paul Merton and was running
Friends of Snakes Society in Defence Colony in the city and known nationally. At the age of seven he started catching snakes and lost two of his fingers of both hands due to the snake bites. Deputy Conservator of Forests Mr A Shankaran who lost his personal friend
says ,"As a school boy he used to rescue snakes and hand over them to zoo.
He used to tell that officials that he was handing over them as the people are killing it. He had a great art of capturing the snakes and handle them gently as we handle the new-born. He survived the snake including cobra and viper bites several times and two times it was very serious as his fingers were amputated. Once he was admitted to Intensive Care Unit where 23 doses of
anti venom was given to save his life. He escaped all these but the cerebral malaria killed him,"
Raj Kumar used to attend at least 20 to 30 calls a month to rescue snakes in the twin cities. He had conducted hundreds of shows in the schools and institutions across the country.
K Prakash an engineer and brother of Raj Kumar says, "This is a great loss to the family. He is a such a loveable man. He was diagnosed for cerebral malaria and treatment began two days ago. He died on Monday morning,"
Raj Kumar had at least 200 disciples who adore him, Raj used to tell in interviews that he was rescuing snakes as they are
misunderstood species and friends of farmers. He used to tell that snakes eat rats that spoil the crop particularly paddy and if the snakes are endangered the food production will come down due to increased mice menace.
Raj Kumar is survived by a wife and son and parents. His son Dharam Teja was also featured by Paul Merton carrying python on his neck.
Rajkumar was trained in Pune snake par and Bronx Zoo in US. Shankaran recalls ,"He dedicated all his life for snakes. He never took
money for his shows. Government of India has donated him a jeep which he used for the rescue of snakes. Raj knows snake feeding habits,"
Raju and his team members used to lay traps at the railway tracks and catch the rats and bandicoots and bring them back to feed the snakes. A follower of world renowned Romulus Whitaker Raj Kumar says the snakes are soft natured warm and friendly.
In his first encounter with snake when group of people killed it he asked his mother Ms K Joan who told him that they are beautiful creations of god and were misunderstood. His father Mr K V Rao was a defence employee.
One of the disciples of Raj Kumar Mr M Shiva says ,"we are two hundred members and 30 of us are active. He used to train us with non poisonous snakes initially and then until he gets satisfied that we can safely handle he never used to expose us to poisonous snakes. He used to be always caution us about our safety,"
Raju another aspiring young ophiologist of Raj Kumar says ,"there are no words to describe him. We couldn't digest the death of our guru," Retired PCCF Mr R K Rao and several other prominent people helped him
to grow. Chief Wild Life Warden Mr Hitesh Malhotra and Additional PCCF Mr A V Joseph were members of executive committee of the society. Maneka Gandhi and Amala Akkineni were the chief patron of the society
His society was involved in spreading awareness apart from rescue and rehabilitation in the State. He had done around 3000 rescues and 4000 educational snake demonstration.
Raj Kumar was writing a book on snakes and his desire to establish a snake park couldn't be fulfilled.
 Mr. Raj Kumar, spent almost three decades handling snakes, has come out with a blue print and spent several months in the United Studies Though land was given for snake park at Mahendra Hills he couldn't construct as permission as denied as the land is in the flight path. National zoo authority had given clearance and Union government approved a grant of Rs 25 crore but it didn't take off as Begumpet airport authorities refused permission. Later he tried for land at Necklace Road which didn't

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Drug link: Psychedelic trance music banned in Hyderabad

By U Sudhakar Reddy
The city police has banned psychedelic trance music shows in pubs because they find that it encourages drug abuse. The Banjara Hills police recently warned a pub attached to a five-star hotel in the city not to play psychedelic trance music by an Israeli DJ.

According to West Zone deputy commissioner of police, Mr Stephen Raveendra, “Normal persons can’t enjoy psychedelic trance music; those who are high on drugs enjoy it. The music has certain sounds and beats that irk a regular person. Most drug abusers join these kinds of parties.”
Psychiatrist Dr Ramana Cherukuri says hallucinogenic drugs cause the user to see vivid colours and their senses become abnormally active. CCS DCP, Mr J. Satyanarayana, says cocaine, a popular party drug, is a stimulant that makes one euphoric and enhances sexual prowess.
Heroin, unlike cocaine, is a depressant and is cheaper than cocaine. Ecstasy is another drug popular with the upwardly mobile crowd. It comes in tablet or capsule form. The attraction of these drugs is the euphoric, relaxed or energetic state they induce, but the downside is that they can be lethal and addictive. Ecstasy, for example, can cause multiple organ failure from severe body overheating, short term memory loss, and compromise the immune system.

Hyderabad High on Cocaine, No special cell to fight drugs

By U Sudhakar Reddy
Several drug busts in the past few months seem to suggest that national and international drug dealers are finding Hyderabad a lucrative market. Yet the state and city police have no special mechanism and infrastructure to fight the growing menace of organised drug racketeers.

Cocaine is said to be the drug of choice for Hyderabad’s wealthy elite and other drugs like amphetamine have made inroads into cities such as Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. School-going children and college students are increasingly being targeted.
Police, who are on the front line of the war on drugs, say there is an urgent need for an Anti-Narcotics Cell in the Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates. An existing cell in the Crime Investigation Department is defunct and has not exposed a single racket in the past decade, and needs to be upgraded.
The state police has neither the equipment, such as field testing kits, nor the training to test drugs when they are seized; they have to depend on the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence or the Narcotics Control Bureau. Trained sniffer dogs that can track drug consignments at airports and seaports are also required.
There is no dearth of agencies to implement the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act — police, excise, Drug Control Administration, CID at state level, DRI, Customs and NCB at central level — but there is no co-ordination among them, which is to the advantage of drug peddlers.
The city police has busted nine major cases of drug racketeering, mostly of cocaine, in the past four months.
Sources in the Narcotics Control Bureau say drug cartels see India as a rising market for cocaine and Hyderabad has been listed as a top priority city. “Go to any college, and you will find that drugs are the most common thing right now,” says West Zone deputy commissioner of police, Mr Stephen Raveendra. “Pushers on the party circuit drag others into this. Cocaine has become a status symbol for the elite. This is in colleges in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam too. The culture of using high-end drugs is increasing after more youngsters who studied abroad are returning home to Hyderabad.”
Recently, the city police arrested a drug peddler whose call list had the phone numbers of 150 IT professionals who are addicted to a high-quality form of ganja. “Cocaine, Lysergic Acid Diathylamide (LSD), a psychoactive hallucinogenic drug, and meth crystals are the most commonly used illegal drugs in the city. Cocaine, popularly called coke or crack, costs `3,000 to `5,000 per gram, and a drop of LSD costs `1,500 to `2,000. LSD is absorbed on paper and smuggled in,” said Mr Raveendra.
Cocaine finds its way to Hyderabad from South Africa, Afghanistan, and Burma, via Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune. The drugs are smuggled onto flights hidden in the body cavities of carriers. Drugs are also shipped and parcelled in.
Though police commissioner, Mr A.K. Khan, has ordered a zero tolerance policy towards drugs, legal experts say that the conviction rate is low in NDPS Act cases.
“Though the provisions are stringent, the police department has no field testing kits or the training that the DRI has. In most cases only drug ‘mules’ or couriers are caught. The handlers who are based in other countries and metros are not arrested. So the drug rackets continue and only the mules change,” says Mr T.K. Basha Vali, a lawyer.
He believes that the NDPS Act should also be amended to allow confessions before the police to be admitted as evidence in court, as in the case of special investigating agencies like the DRI and Customs.
Another twist in the drug tale is that even as the police crack down on drugs smuggled from overseas, like cocaine, users are switching to synthetic narcotics like amphetamine, ephedrine and crystal meth.
Central Crime Station deputy commissioner, Mr J. Satyanarayana, says the crackdown by police is having some effect. “CCS has busted three gangs in the past few months. Due to the sustained raids, cocaine has become expensive," he said

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Wild fox follows crocodile, panther into Hyderabad city

Habitat destruction poses major threat
U Sudhakar Reddy
After panthers and crocodile now it's the turn of Fox to sneak into the city. Residents of Nagole woke up to see a wild fox moving in their locality from house to house on Sunday morning. The female fox aged two to three years lost it's way to from the Vanasthalipuram jungle into Sainagar Colony in Nagole.
As kids who are playing on the roads raised alarm and screaming at the fox a woman called up the forest anti poaching squad who along with Nehru Zoological park authorities caught it and shifted to zoo. An employee of an MNC Ms D Suma Reddy daughter of a retired
Motor Vehicle Inspector Mr D S Reddy says ,"when we saw it we were doubtful whether it was a dog or a fox. Colony kids were screaming at the fox. It was very mild and not wild. It was shivering and trembling as it saw so many people.,"
The incident took place around 10.35 am in road number 4 of Srinagar Colony.
Anti Poaching Squad Forest Range Officer Mr Raja Ramana Reddy said ,"After we received information we rushed to spot and confirmed it as a fox. It has injury on left limb. We rescued it and shifted it to Zoo park. It may have sneaked out of Vanasthalipuram national park which is spread over 3600 acres of land. There are four reserve forest blocks
that spread from Vanasthalipuram, Nagole and Dammaigudem,"
He added that fox is a protected wild species under part 2 of Schedule 2 of Wild Life Protection Act.
"Usually in groups the fox hunt for their prey deer. It may lost the route," said Ramana Reddy.
Increased human intervention in the forests and destruction of forest habitat are another reasons why the wild animals are sneaking out of
the forest. In another incident Forest officials rescued a wild animal of Cat family in Krishnakanth park in Yousufguda on Sunday evening.
"We are yet to identify the species of cat. It is a protected wild animal," said Mr Raja Ramana Reddy.

Pak Cyber Army hacks Andhra Pradesh Sainik webstie

By U Sudhakar Reddy
The "Pakistan Cyber Army" which defaced the Central Bureau of Investigation’s website, also hacked into
the website of the Department of Sainik Welfare of government of Andhra Pradesh.
The website, was hacked on December 5, the day after Pakistani cyber miscreants hacked into the CBI website. The web page related to financial grant report to retired army officials was defaced.
The Pakistan Cyber Army also posted the defaced web pages of the Sainik Welfare Department on social networking site, Facebook. It read that cyber security of Indian government’s websites was a myth and  claimed that it was done in retaliation to the hacking of Pakistani websites by Indian hackers.
On the defaced web page of the Sainik Welfare Department, the hacker left a message: "Hacked by Innocent Hacker". Government officials, however, retrieved the defaced web pages by evening.
Sainik Welfare Department director, Brigadier (retired) C.S. Vidyasagar told this correspondent: "The AP Sainikwelfare site is non classified. Anyone can access it from any part of the world. No classified information is put on the website. We are going to lodge a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police regarding defacing of the pages."
He added that the website is maintained by the Centre For Good Governance. "We are paying CGG for maintenance of the website as the department has no technical experts. After this incident we are definitely going to ask them to strengthen security," he said.
CBI, on the other hand, has failed to restore its website since it was hacked. Andhra Hackers, a group that takes up "ethical hacking", has been assisting the cyber police of the state to tackle the Pakistani hackers.
Meanwhile, the Crime Investigation Department, Cyber Crime Police, is currently being trained by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on various aspects of cyber security and investigation in the Ghaziabad CBI Academy. Additional superintendent of police, Mr U. Ram Mohan, and inspector of police, Mr Ravi Kumar Reddy, are being trained by the FBI along with other officers across the country.
The FBI training module began on Monday, two days after the CBI website was hacked into.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Drugs from Africa: Khat leaf in Hyderabad.

Khat leafy contraband a drug used as alternative for Amphetamine and Cocaine by the drug abusers was caught in the city. City Task Force police on Saturday arrested a Somalian national
and seized 11 kgs of Khat leaves smuggled into Hyderabad from Adis Ababa the Ethiopian capital.
The arrested accused identified as Ahmed Khadar Yousuf Elmi 38 a native of Mogadishu in Somalia was residing at Nizam Colony at Humayunagar.
Cops found that he was selling the Khat to leaf to city drug abusers and foreign nationals. The accused was smuggling in Khat leaf as vegetables in Air cargo from East African Countries to city via Mumbai.
Khat leaf is a stimulant and produces hallucinogenic affect on chewing.
Task Force Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr V B Kamalasan Reddy said that the Somalian came to India on tourist visa in 1995. He discontinued his studies in the faculty of Bachelor of commerce in
King Koti Pragati College. He was arrested in 2008 October by Humayunagar police for overstay and sent to jail. On bail he procured refugee certificate. Due to financial crisis he started procuring Khat leaf
and selling the contraband at the rate of Rs 1000 per bundle.
Mr Kamalasan Reddy said ,"Not only foreign nationals but also Hyderabadis got addicted to Khat leaves. The Khat leaves contain psycho active ingredients known as cathinone and cathine. Both these
chemicals come under Narcotic Drugs and Pyschotropic substances act purview,".
Khat is a flowering shrub, it has stimulant effect similar to that of cocaine. Khat leaves are grown in Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen countries. Khat is taken by chewing the leaves and dried Khat leaves,
can we mixed in tea decoction. The user experiences immediate increase in blood pressure and heart beat rate. It has effect of mild depression, extreme thrust, insomnia etc. It also damages the nervous, respiratory, circulatory and digestive system. It is a illegal drug falls
under Schedule-I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
West Zone Task Force inspector of Police Mr J Narsaiah said Khat leaf is grown by farmers in Somalia.
The sale proceeds of Khat leaf is the key sources for the terror funding in Somalia.