Express press service
KOCHI: Police have opened an investigation into a cyberattack in which the Google Business account of a five-star hotel in Kochi was hacked and linked to a fake website. A case has been registered at Kochi Cyber Police Station and attempts are underway to trace the people behind the hacking incident.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Google Business account was hacked by unknown individuals between June 2 and June 7. After the hack, the accused replaced the phone number listed in the account. Later, a fake website with pictures of the hotel was created and the business account was linked to it. According to the FIR in the case, the defendant deceived some hotel guests and defrauded them of money.
“We are collecting information about the replaced phone number in the business account after it was hacked. Hotel authorities were alerted by customers who lost money. people outside Kerala were involved in the incident. The company’s account has now been reinstated,” a police official said.
The police complaint was made by Praveen Nair, the hotel’s front desk manager. The name and identity of the accused are unknown. The case was filed under IPC Section 420 for cheating and Computer Act Sections 66 for computer offences, 66c for identity theft, 66 for cheating by impersonation using computer resources and 43 for causing damage to the computer and computer system. When contacted, a hotel manager promised to give an answer after speaking with hotel management.
Kerala has witnessed an increase in the number of cyber crimes including hacking in recent years. No less than 936 cybercrime cases, including 11 cases of website hacking, were recorded in 2021.
Likewise, 183 such cases have been registered up to March this year. Additionally, 21 cases of bank account and email id hacks were reported in the state last year. The police registered six cases of falsification of computer source documents during the same year.
“It is up to the hotel authority to check whether a security breach has led to the hack. Passwords for corporate accounts, as well as individuals, should be changed frequently to prevent hacking. Individuals should be careful when “they click on links distributed via social media and in the form of text messages. Hackers can install malware on mobile phones and computer systems using these fake links,” the officer said.