Terror e-mails to IT firms may be ploy to mislead: police

January 5th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Jan 5 (IANS) A flurry of e-mails threatening to blow up glitzy buildings of IT bellwethers like Infosys and Wipro in this tech hub of India may be a ploy to mislead people and create a scare, a top police official here said Monday.”The city anti-terrorist cell (ATC) is investigating the e-mail threats received by some top IT firms located across the city’s southeast IT corridor from Whitefield to Electronic City,” Bangalore joint commissioner of police Gopal Hosur told IANS here.

“A couple of mails appear to have originated from a suburb in the city. The nature of content makes us suspect how genuine are these threats, as there is no specific mention of the target, by whom and where,” Hosur asserted.

One of the e-mails warns of an “imminent attack between March 13-26 and none can stop them in their mission”.

“This is the first time we are getting such a threat mail where a terror attack is planned and informed in advance. Though it can be a hoax to mislead or make us complacent, we are not taking chances and cracking the case seriously,” Hosur asserted.

Hinting that some of the e-mails could have emanated from outside the state of Karnataka or the country, Hosur said the IT firms that received the threats had forwarded the e-mails to the city crime branch of CoD (core of detectives), which has a special cell to deal with cyber crimes.

Apart from Infosys and Wipro, multinationals such as Accenture and Capgemini have received such terror threats.

“Since the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks, we have received 15 such emails over the last month. Some appear to be an outright hoax or a prank. We hope to crack the cases soon for an early breakthrough,” city police commissioner Shankar Bidari told reporters after a meeting of the top police brass, including six deputy commissioners of police.

In view of the terror menace gripping the nation, especially since the Mumbai attacks, the city police have directed the IT firms to beef up security in their premises and ensure the safety of their employees.

“We are doing our best to ensure no such terror incidents take place again here. Besides surveillance, mobile patrolling and 24×7 information network, additional forces are being deployed as per requirement and in consultation with the IT firms,” Bidari affirmed.

Infosys and Wipro officials declined to comment or confirm receiving e-mail threats.

“We do not discuss security issues with outsiders, as they are sensitive to our operations. We have protective security software (firewall) on our network, which filters all anonymous mails at the entry level. Any threat mail is referred to our security team, which in turn takes up the matter with the law enforcing agencies,” an IT company official receiving the threat mail, said on condition of anonymity.

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