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Whizkid who once provided cyber security turned into skimming mastermind
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 08:16:25 -0500 (CDT)


By Hemanth Kashyap
Bangalor Mirror
June 13, 2012

With an MS degree in cyber & computer forensics from London, Kamal was in demand among tech firms. But a chance telephone intercept by the cops led to the revelation that he was the kingpin of a gang which cheated thousands and looted crores of rupees

Palavarma Kamal Kumar is the kind of guy every company would want on board. The 28-year-old has an MS degree in cyber and computer forensics from London, and his clients once included hundreds of multinational companies across the world. In fact, the hacker was such a success that a company’s data and security systems were considered secure if Kamal failed to breach them. But now, the very same Kamal is behind bars in Bangalore, on charges of being the mastermind behind the skimming scam worth crores that was front-paged in Bangalore Mirror (You better avoid taking cash out of unguarded ATMs, Feb 17, 2012).

“I am really surprised to know that Kamal Kumar who did his MS from London was into this illegal business,” deputy commissioner of police (South) Sonia Narang told Bangalore Mirror. “His arrest has proved no one is above the law. This is a lesson for people who think they can carry out criminal activities without getting caught. One day or the other, the law will catch up.”

The arrest

It was a chance telephone call that blew Kamal’s lid. One of his accomplices, Ajay Lal, had a girlfriend in Hyderabad who was implicated in a cheating case. Hyderabad police were following her movements by tapping her mobile phone. They couldn’t believe their ears when they heard Ajay telling her not to worry about money and talking about their skimming operations in Bangalore and Hyderabad. The cops realised that they had stumbled on something bigger and started tapping Lal’s phone. And soon they knew all the details about Kamal and his other associates. They contacted the Bangalore police, and in a joint operation Kamal, along with web designer Zameer Shaikh and Ajay, was arrested.

The kingpin

Kamal, a native of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, comes from a good family. His father owned a garment store in Vijayawada and his engineer brother is settled in the US. After his schooling, Kamal completed his bachelor’s degree in information technology in Vijayawada and MBA in Hyderabad. Even in college, Kamal was interested in hacking and spent a lot of time learning the art. He even joined many underground forums. He started two software companies in Hyderabad, but shut down both in 2011 when he ran into losses. In between, he provided consultancy services in security systems to MNCs all over the world.


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