Mumbai cops suspect tech-savvy youths hacked Haji Ali digital board, displayed weed message

The Tardeo police suspect that tech-savvy youngsters were the ones who hacked a digital information board and made it display inappropriate messages last month.

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 11:26 AM IST
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Mumbai cops suspect tech-savvy youths hacked Haji Ali digital board, displayed weed message | Photo: Pixabay

MUMBAI: The Tardeo police suspect that tech-savvy youngsters were the ones who hacked a digital information board and made it display inappropriate messages last month.

Initial investigations show that someone had gained unauthorised access to the computer system of the LED board at the Haji Ali-Lotus junction, according to the police.

The board, which was meant to relay traffic information and messages such as “Don't Drink & Drive” and “No Smoking”, started relaying messages such as “Smoke Weed”. This came to the notice of assistant police sub-inspector (ASI) Manish Sawant, posted at the Tardeo traffic division, on Dec 20.

ASI Sawant, who is the complainant in the case, got in touch with the supervisor of the private company that had installed the LED board and asked him to shut it down, police said.

The supervisor told the ASI that someone had fraudulently made technical changes in the electronic LED board system and had changed the messages. ASI Sawant brought the matter into the notice of his superiors, and got a criminal offence lodged in the matter.

The police have registered a case under sections 463 (forgery), 465 (punishment for forgery) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 43(f) (denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorised to access any computer, computer system or computer network by any means), 43A (compensation for failure to protect data) and 65 (tampering with computer source documents) of the Information Technology Act.

Senior police inspector Vivek Shende of Tardeo police station said, “We are taking the help of the cyber police to get leads. Such cases are rampant and the possibility of youngsters being involved cannot be ruled out.”

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