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ISI’s honey trapping module continues to remain biggest headache for security agencies

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Officials have learnt that the account fb.com/shaanti.patel.89737, had managed to lure some persons in the establishment and get information.

New Delhi, May 09: The ISI appears to be on overdrive mode and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is now probing a case where the spy agency of Pakistan is attempting to inject a malware into the computers and phones of defence personnel.

The agency took over the probe after an account named fb.com/shaanti.patel.89737, managed to gain unauthorised accedes to restricted data of computer resources.

ISI’s honey trapping module continues to remain biggest headache for security agencies

Intelligence Bureau officials have been keeping a close watch on such activities for sometime now. Recently the Andhra Pradesh police launched a probe into the matter based on source based information. Following this the officers and soldiers were told to delete several social networking, micro-blogging and gaming applications including Facebook and Instagram.

Officials have learnt that the account fb.com/shaanti.patel.89737, had managed to lure some persons in the establishment and get information. It is a classic case of honey trapping an official tells OneIndia.

An assessment by the Intelligence agencies earlier this said that honey trapping would continue to remain one of the key concerns for the security agencies.

The honey trap wing of the ISI is being run from Faridkot. Since 2015, the ISI has earmarked a budget of nearly Rs 3,500 crore for this unit. This only goes on to show, how important the unit is for the ISI.

After a trap is laid, the information is either elicited through blackmail or in the lure for cash.

The ISI agents, who set the trap pay anything between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for the information.

The amount would however depend on the rank of the officer. The higher the rank, higher the money.

The Union Home Ministry was recently told by the Intelligence Agencies that in 2017, a fresh push was made by Pakistan to trap as many young recruits of the Indian Army. The traps were being set on those who had just joined the Army and as well as on those who were in the process of joining the forces. The Anika Chopra case is part of the same plan, IB officials say.

The ISI has been looking to trap as many as 200 such young recruits and recent investigations showed that the Pakistan agents were already in touch with over 50 of them. When the police had arrested Gaurav Kumar, a resident of Rohtak, they found that he was asked to click pictures, each time he visited the Army training camp. He had plans of joining the Indian Army and was training for the same.

He had already been trapped before he could join the forces. It was found that he had visited 18 Army recruitment camps from where he is alleged to have shared a lot of information.

Not only do the operations run from Faridkot, but the ISI has also managed to set up dedicated modules within India to honey trap officials. There are modules in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which exclusively report to the Faridkot.

The ISI agents first create a fake profile on the social media and then begin chatting. Once they find that the target is vulnerable, they lead him to the Hookup chat site. Over here the information is shared. The biggest problem that investigators face is that once a person logs out of Hookup, the chats are automatically deleted.

Officials tell OneIndia that the problem is likely to get worse in the coming months. The challenge ahead is huge. The official however adds that while the problem has been immense, the agencies have however managed to nip such incidents in the bud. It could have been much worse had it not been detected early, the official also added.

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