Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Two years on, justice eludes Rajdeep Sardesai

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Many have said that the next World War will be a cyberwar, fought by expert hackers, over the internet. At the same time, India is moving towards a “Digital India”, exhorting every Indian citizen to have an online presence in some form or the other. But can Digital India move ahead without basic cybersecurity?

We just crossed the 2 year anniversary of a dark event in Indian history, when journalist Rajdeep Sardesai’s twitter account was “hacked” into. The mystery “hacker” had logged into Rajdeep’s account late that night and had done something very un-hacker like. Instead of random tweets, the hacker had chosen to abuse ordinary, private India citizens, via the direct message feature of Twitter:

From the above screenshots, the “hackers” modus operandi was clear. He was seeing the replies Rajdeep’s account was receiving from ordinary citizens, and scanning for any response which would have made Rajdeep angry. Such users who would have made Rajdeep angry were then responded to by the hacker, using the direct message feature. The response almost always involved abusing the user’s mother.

Rajdeep Sardesai, who normally loses his cool only in front of Madison Square Garden, was distraught at this “hacking” and decided to delete his account, only to resurface in a few days.

It has been 2 years now, but Rajdeep has not been given justice. The mystery “hacker” has not been traced and the police have not been able to provide even basic hints on about the possible suspects. We still do now know how the “hacker” managed to hack into Rajdeep’s account, while allowing Rajdeep full access to the same account, since before and after the abusive messages, Rajdeep was happily accessing and tweeting from his account for more than 12 hours post the “hacking” incident. This only shows the advanced techniques that the “hacker” was using.

The questions we must ask today are these:

  1. What happened to the “hacker”?
  2. Did Rajdeep file a police complaint? Or complain to Twitter?
  3. Have the police or Twitter apprehended the miscreant or have they reach close to catching him?
  4. If not, does it not damage the reputation of Rajdeep himself that his claim of being a victim of a hacking incident maybe fake?

The nation demands an answer. Until then, we must fight for Rajdeep Sardesai’s right to justice. We all know Rajdeep Sardesai is totally not capable of abusing people’s mothers late in the night.

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