Almost everyone fills the income tax return online these days as its very convenient and it saves a lot of time. In fact, its now compulsory to e-file income tax returns if your income is above 5 Lacs. You’d assume that your account at income tax website is very secure and your personal information is safe in the hands of government. But apparently, this is not the case. Your I-T account is not very secure. This has been proved by a CA student who easily hacked the I-T account of Anil Amabani.
The I-T account of Anil Ambani was hacked by a 21 year old woman from Hyderabad who is pursuing chartered accountancy course and doing her articleship at Manoj Daga & Company. She is a daughter of a banker and niece of Manoj Daga, owner of Manoj Daga & Company.
How the I-T account of Anil Amabani Was Hacked
To access the I-T account of Anil Ambani, the woman first got the PAN card number of Anil Ambani. She accessed it easily by filling the birth date and mother’s name of Anil Ambani on website of income tax department.
Then she went to the e-returns section of I-T website and reset the password of Anil Ambani’s account using his PAN card number. The new password was sent to her own email. She then used this password to log into Anil Amabani’s I-T account to access all the details of his income tax returns, including how much tax he paid in past few years.
How She Got Caught
The hacking attempt was detected when Nilesh Doshi, the chartered account of Anil Ambani, got an email from the Income Tax department that the password of Anil Ambani’s account has been changed as requested. He was shocked on receiving this email as he didn’t change the password so he contacted police crime branch immediately.
The cyber crime cell of crime branch of police traced got IP address of the computer using which the account was hacked and then traced the location of this IP addesss. The location was the Chikkadpally firm of Manoj Daga.
Police raided the location and found all the income tax returns of Anil Amabani saved on a computer on this firm. Since the owner of the firm was not in Hyderabad for a month, and only his niece had access to the computer besides him, it was clear that she was the hacker. When confronted, she confessed the hacking attempt.
Why Did She Hacked The Account of Anil Ambani
On further investigation, the woman said to police that she only wanted to know how much tax does a billionaire like Anil Ambani pays and had no malicious intent. She is now booked under multiple sections under the cyber crime act.
Wake-Up Call For The I-T Department
Its amazing how easily the I-T account of Anil Ambani was hacked. I-T website just verified the PAN number and sent the new password for the I-T account to an unknown/new email address. What they should have done is to send this detail only to the email address registered on the I-T website.
Its high time that a security audit of the income tax website is done and strict security policies are implemented, otherwise we will see a rise in security related incidents.