Planting fake evidence on phone more dangerous than leaking info

Representational image: Sabphoto/Shutterstock

New Delhi: Experts have pointed out that planting fake information on the phone without the user's knowledge is more dangerous than leaking information using spyware.

Such fake digital evidence could be used to implicate an individual in a case. If any evidence has been planted on the phone without the individual's knowledge, it is not easy to avoid the responsibility. Also, it would be difficult to prove one’s innocence.

Human rights' activist Fr Stan Swamy had told the NIA about the evidence planted in his laptop even before his arrest in the Bhima Koregaon Case, according to his colleagues. The main evidence found against the social activists and intellectuals, who were arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Maharashtra, was fabricated, as per a report published in February. The evidence was planted after infiltrating their laptops using malware, according to the forensic report published by the ‘Washington Post’. The laptops of Keralite Rona Wilson and others were also hacked into.

The relatives of the accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case had sought a probe into the reports of fabricated evidence.

Rahul frequently changed phone numbers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has revealed that he changed his phone numbers frequently after he received suspicious WhatsApp messages. As his earlier phone is not in use now, it cannot be subjected to a forensic examination.

Meanwhile, the forensic analysis conducted by the Amnesty International's security lab has confirmed that poll strategist Prashant Kishor's phone was hacked into. Prashant said that the data leak continued even after he changed his phone five times. Though he suspected he was under surveillance, he did not know that his phone was leaked. The first attack by the Pegasus in 2018 did not succeed. In the subsequent attempts, his phone was compromised.

The results of the analysis reveal that the Pegasus spyware was in the phone even till July 13, when Prashant visited Rahul Gandhi. The examination reveals that the Pegasus infiltrated Prashant Kishor's phone without clicking on any link. The Pegasus snooped on the phone by exploiting a flaw in the iPhone’s iMessage system (zero-click iMessage exploit). In several earlier cases, WhatsApp missed calls were made or suspicious links were sent.

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