19-year-old IT graduate hacker has been arrested by Law enforcers team in Iran. They charged him for leaking personal data belonging to 20m ‘MTN Irancell‘ customers in an elaborate scheme orchestrated with the help of the smartphone application Telegram.
Fars news agency reported the incident took place on Telegram message app when a @MTNProBot appeared on the service allowing anyone to insert user’s phone number and collect their personal information including first name, last name, address, national code, landline number, postal code and city.
The hacker, who remains unnamed, allegedly confessed to the crime of uploading the contents of a stolen Irancell database to a server and allowing it to be accessed by a Telegram ‘bot’ – a piece of computer code that automated the data collection process.
According to Mr. Mohammad Reza Farnaqizad, spokesman for Iranian ICT ministry,
The bot was blocked few hours after the incident, however, the bot was active for 20 hours allowing anyone to get hold of users’ personal information. Remember, Telegram is one of the most used apps in Iran with more than 20 million users.
According to an Iranian tech blog TechRasa
We tested the bot by putting a cell number and found out it’s providing legit information. We wanted to check if this bot is legit so we tried our own Irancell cell phone numbers and guess what? it was legit.
The database used in the operation was reportedly three-years-old, however tests on the bot proved the records used were indeed legitimate
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