Booming business in India: Fake death and birth certificates. Hackers get into government websites to generate 800 fake birth and death certificates

Authorities in the Indian state of Haryana have announced the arrest of two individuals accused of falsifying hundreds of birth and death certificates by hacking into various government websites. The local police’s Cybercrime Unit managed to identify the defendants, leading to their arrest.

At the time of their arrest, the defendants were seized two laptops, two smartphones, a desktop computer and other hacking tools. The defendants admitted having issued some 800 fake birth and death certificates after hacking into the websites of states such as Haryana, Bihar, Madhya, Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar.

Although the defendants managed to operate inadvertently for a couple of months, it was all discovered when a doctor at Karnal Civil Hospital realized that his access credentials to the Birth and Death Certificate Registration Unit had been compromised, as the threat actors managed to change these passwords.

The affected doctor filed a charge against those responsible because they violated multiple provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

In a statement, Haryana authorities note that the defendants also managed a WhatsApp group to contact their potential clients; interested users only had to contact the defendants, agree on a price and wait for the work to be completed.

The defendants would subsequently log into the target website and issue the fake certificate in the customer’s name, sending a link via WhatsApp and using a forged signature.

So far, it is unknown what exactly are the charges facing the defendants, in addition to waiting to know the final sentences they face.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.