Tamil Nadu-based computer programmer runs into trouble as robots he developed are used in ‘terrorist plots’ – The New Indian Express

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BHOPAL: The urge to become a successful computer programmer caused problems for a 17-year-old class XII student based in Tamil Nadu.

The Salem-based college student who aspires to have his own successful startup business, recently sold Bot software programs to a stranger through the instant messaging app Telegram for US$200.

Bots (software that performs automated, repetitive and predefined tasks) were developed by the teenager for the foreign client to leverage multiple email ids.

While the Tamil Nadu teenager relished receiving payment in Bitcoin, little did he know that the stranger he had developed the Bots for was going to get him in serious trouble.

The bots developed to exploit multiple email ids were actually used by the unidentified user to send emails to top schools in Bangalore in April and then to 11 top schools in Bhopal on May 13, alerting of the presence of powerful bombs in the schools concerned.

“While the emails sent to schools in Bengaluru and Bhopal turned out to be hoaxes, they occupied entire Bomb Detection and Disposal Teams (BDDS) for hours. A subsequent investigation by our teams revealed revealed that a Salem resident boy’s IP address was the genesis of the couriers.Our team managed to track down the teenager in two days, just one day after Bengaluru police located him after about a month of ‘investigation,’ DCP-Crime Amit Kumar told the New Indian Express on Wednesday.

“We sent our teams to Tamil Nadu and notify the teenager to help us with the investigations. The real unidentified accused could be a foreign national, who used the robots hosted by the Tamil Nadu teenager to send the couriers to the schools in Bhopal and Bengaluru. We have removed the affected bots to ensure that they will not be used for criminal purposes in the future,” Kumar added.

The concerned teenager, whose father is a librarian, comes from a middle-class family and aspires to run his own IT startup.

Importantly, BDDS teams swung into action immediately after around 11 of the top CBSE schools in Bhopal received the same emails warning of powerful bombs planted in those schools on May 13.

CBSE Class X and XII Term II final exams were in progress at these schools. Emails warning of school bombs were later revealed to be hoaxes.

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