The CBI will find it tough to get details from Russian hacker Mikhail Shargin, who allegedly played a key role in manipulating the online system of 2021 JEE-Mains.
The court, considering the hacker’s level of expertise, has asked him to provide all password IDs to the central probe agency so that it can smoothly investigate the case.
Shargin will now have to explain his modus operandi, which will require technical help. The CBI has sought five-day police custody of the hacker, explaining that to unearth the entire conspiracy, it has to analyse data on phone, laptop and external hard disk – all of which was necessary for the investigation.
Shargin’s counsel objected to the application on the ground that he has been arrested only on disclosure statement by the co-accused and there is no substantial proof against him to connect him with the alleged offence.
The hacker has been interacting through a translator. The CBI, during his custody, will examine all his electronic devices to understand his modus operandi used to crack the online entrance examination. According to reports, during the investigation, CBI found that some foreign nationals were involved in compromising many online tests, including the JEE-Mains. Shargin’s role was revealed as he allegedly tampered with the iLeon software – the platform on which the JEE-Mains was conducted in 2021.
The CBI had filed a case in September 2021 against a company, Affinity Education Private Limited, as well as its directors, employees among others. They are facing allegations of helping candidates secure admission to prominent institutes by helping them solve the question paper through remote access.
According to CBI, the accused got original marksheets of Classes X and XII of candidates willing to clear the paper in an illegal manner. After receiving a confirmation from them, the accused would take Rs 12 to 15 lakh for the job.