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Pakistani spies used three apps to retrieve confidential data from honeytrapped BrahMos missile engineer Nishant Agarwal’s laptop

Agrawal installed three apps on his laptop in 2017 after following Sejal's instructions and clicking on URLs she sent. The apps were Qwhisper, Chat to Hire, and X-trust.

Nishant Agrawal, a former BrahMos scientist, was recently convicted to life imprisonment by a sessions court for passing military secrets to Pakistan. Nishant, who worked in Nagpur’s missile assembly unit, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (UP-ATS) in 2018.

The Sessions Court convicted him under Section 235 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Agarwal was found guilty of violating Section 66(f) of the IT Act and other provisions of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for disclosing sensitive data concerning armaments to foreign entities. 

During the Nishant Agrawal trial, UP-ATS investigation officer Pankaj Awasthi stated that a person named ‘Sejal’ created a Facebook account from Pakistan to trap Agarwal. The chats between Brahmos Aerospace missile engineer Nishant Agarwal and Pakistani spy ‘Sejal’ revealed that she was part of a group that shared data and tips for deceiving Indian defence officials.

According to Awasthi, Agrawal installed three apps on his laptop in 2017 after following Sejal’s instructions and clicking on URLs she sent. The apps were Qwhisper, Chat to Hire, and X-trust.

The three applications were malware that accessed Nishant’s personal laptop and extracted classified information. Investigations have found that vital information pertaining to the BrahMos missile was found on his laptop, which violated BAPL’s security standards. Nishant also communicated with Sejal on LinkedIn, where she expressed interest in recruiting him as a recruiter at Hays Aviation in the UK.

It is pertinent to recall that Nishant Agarwal, who worked as the senior systems engineer at Brahmos Aerospace, was arrested in October 2018 on espionage charges by the UP ATS. He was found guilty of sharing confidential information in the trial held in Nagpur and has recently been sentenced to life imprisonment.

As reported earlier, Brahmos Aerospace is tasked with developing the supersonic Brahmos missiles that are considered the fastest cruise missiles in the world. The Nagpur Brahmos unit where Nishant Agarwal was employed makes propellants for the missiles. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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