Case registered under cyber-terrorism laws after Wipro’s complaint; insiders say scanning packages arriving in Bengaluru facilities will be the biggest challenge
On Friday morning, Wipro received an anonymous email, threatening a massive attack on all its offices in Bengaluru if the IT firm did not pay up Rs 500 crore in the digital currency of bitcoins through a certain link online.
The email, a printed copy of which was reviewed by Mirror, created a flutter in the inner circle of the IT giant, although it stayed tightlipped about the incident in the media. The firm, however, lodged an official complaint with the cyber police station here on Friday based on which, a case of cyber terrorism was registered.
In the email, the sender threatened to use ricin, a natural toxin found in the seeds of the castor oil plant that can be fatal if inhaled, ingested or injected.
The sender has provided links to which the firm has been instructed to make the bitcoin payment within 20 days.
The email — sent to multiple recipients, including senior officials of the firm, on Friday morning — claimed that if the Rs 500-crore payment was not made on May 25, the sender would attack Wipro offices in the city using ricin.
“It [Ricin] would be used through food served at your cafeteria, disperse it using a flying drone or even on the toilet seat or the toilet paper with which you wipe your ar*e..you get the point (sic),” the email read.
The sender has also claimed that he has isolated 1 kg of high-quality ricin and would be sending 2 grams in envelopes to one of Wipro’s offices in the city in the coming days to prove that he was not bluffing. He has also cautioned the firm to be careful while dealing with his ‘sample does’.
The email also contains the link to a news item about the mysterious death of 22 stray dogs at Baranagar in Kolkata, uploaded on the portal of a leading English news daily. The incident occurred on January 21 in Baranagar locality where the carcasses of 22 dogs were found on the road near a construction site. The sender claimed that he had isolated a high-quality, beta strain of the toxin and had tested it on those dogs.
The email was sent from the id Ramesh2@protonmail.com on Friday and does not have any other details about the sender.
From their Sarjapur Road facility, Wipro officials have lodged the complaint and a FIR under Section 66 F of the IT Act has been registered at the cyber crime police station.Wipro officials, meanwhile, were tight-lipped about the entire development.
“We have received the complaint and the FIR has been registered. We will not be able to reveal any more details,” said S Ravi, Additional Commissioner (Crime).
Ricin has often been used by various intelligence agencies, including the KGB to eliminate their enemies. Ricin packages have also been sent to numerous US politicians, including former US President Barack Obama, forcing the FBI to launch a probe in 2013.Also, Read Reliance Jio Has Launched One More Attractive Offer To Get Jio Wifi For Free
The police also added that, if required, more agencies would be roped in to carry out the probe. At this stage, they said, all precaution was being taken although they couldn’t rule out the possibility that it was a hoax.
The threat seemed to have done the trick as staffers at the Sarjapur campus were extremely worried about the two “sample packages” that the sender that claimed would be sent, and were mulling on getting the right equipment to get it screened for toxic contents.
Senior officials also added that the IP address from where the mail originated would be traced by the cyber police.The case might be transferred out to either local police station or some other branch in the coming days. Despite repeated attempts through phone calls, text messages and email, there was no official response from Wipro.
In 2001, there was a massive scare in the US.When anthrax spore-laden parcels and letters were dispatched, killing at least five people.The police are expected to confirm the veracity of the threat in the initial stages of the probe.