Data of Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, defence personnel stolen: Cyberabad police

According to the police, the accused also possessed 18 lakh students’ records from educational technology companies Byju’s and Vedantu, as well as NEET aspirants and other school-going students.
Data of Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, defence personnel stolen: Cyberabad police
Data of Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, defence personnel stolen: Cyberabad police
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In a massive data theft bust, the Cyberabad Police have arrested a person for possessing confidential data of over 66 crore individuals and organisations across 23 states and a Union Territory. Alarmingly, the accused, identified as Vinay Bhardwaj, was in possession of data belonging to defence personnel, government employees, PAN card holders, and school-going students, police said. Vinay was also allegedly in possession of data from companies such as Instagram, Amazon, Netflix, Zomato, Cred, BookMyShow, and YouTube, along with data from a few casino websites. According to the police, data related to 62.3 lakh users was stolen from YouTube, 22 lakh from Netflix, 10.2 lakh from Amazon, 9.4 lakh from Instagram, 53.5  lakh from BookMyShow, and 20 lakh from Zomato.

The states affected by the data theft were: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam,  Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand,  Tripura, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat.

Vinay is a resident of Faridabad in Haryana. He allegedly collected the confidential data from two persons identified as Amer Sohail and Madan Gopal. Vinay was operating a website called InspireWebz, and he offered to sell the illegally acquired data to fraudsters by promoting the same on social media platforms, police said. 

This is the second major data breach unearthed by the Cyberabad Police in the past two weeks. Earlier on March 23, Cyberabad Police had announced the arrest of seven persons allegedly involved in the theft and sale of sensitive data of various government organisations, including details of defence personnel and confidential data of about 16.8 crore individuals.

According to the Cyberabad Police, Vinay also possessed 18 lakh students’ records from educational technology companies Byju’s and Vedantu. He also allegedly possessed the data of 1.84 lakh cab users of eight metro cities, and 4.5 lakh salaried employees of six cities and Gujarat state. 

Further, Vinay allegedly had consumer data of major organisations such as GST (Pan India), Regional Transport Office or RTO (Pan India), Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, PayTM, PhonePe, Big Basket, BookMyShow, Instagram, Zomato, Policy Bazaar, Upstox, Cred, MPL, Dream 11 etc. He also allegedly had data of electricity consumers in Delhi, D-MAT account holders, mobile numbers of various individuals, NEET aspirants, high net worth individuals, insurance holders, credit card and debit card holders. 

Data of NEET aspirants with their names, father’s name, mobile number and their residential addresses was also allegedly found with the accused. A PAN card database containing sensitive information on income, email ids, phone numbers, addresses etc. was also found. Data of government employees including their name, mobile number, date of birth etc. was also found.

Vinay was allegedly caught selling personal and confidential data of about 66.9 crore individuals and organisations maintained in 104 categories. This includes data related to 51.9 crore individuals and organisations of 24 states and 8 cities, maintained in 44 categories.

Some of the important categories are data related to banks, insurance and financial services, doctors, software engineers, Truecaller and telecommunications, trading and stockbroking, and consulting services of crores of individuals. 

The accused also allegedly had data related to car owners, job aspirants, real estate sector, construction businesses, manufacturing and industrial sector, frequent flyer travel details, and a database of NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) .

The police have seized two mobile phones, two laptops and data of 135 categories containing sensitive information of government and private organisations, and many individuals, from the accused.

As per the details provided by the police, data related to 90 lakh persons was stolen from Assam, 25 lakh from Jammu and Kashmir, 1.02 crore from Tamil Nadu, 60 lakh from the Northeast states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura, 60 lakh from Bengaluru, 56 lakh from Hyderabad, 70 lakh from Chennai, 46 lakh from Mumbai, 12 lakh from Pune, and 68 lakh from Jaipur. 

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