Bengaluru police have arrested a 23-year-old tech graduate for allegedly hacking into the website of Rewards360, a loyalty rewards program company, and stealing nearly 5 lakh gift vouchers worth Rs 4.16 crore.

The accused, Bommaluru Lakshmipati, used the stolen gift vouchers to purchase gold, bikes, electronics and other items on Amazon and Flipkart, according to the police. Lakshmipati is a BTech graduate from IIIT Ongole and had worked briefly in Dubai before shifting to Bengaluru.

Modus Operandi

According to DCP CK Baba of Bengaluru Police, Lakshmipati started acquiring debit and credit cards during his college days. When the bank denied him reward points on the cards, he allegedly developed a technique to hack into the bank’s servers and acquire unlimited vouchers. Lakshmipati then converted these vouchers into digital currency and invested in gold and silver.

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Biggest Gold Haul for City Police

The 5.269 kg of 24-carat gold bars seized from Lakshmipati is the biggest such haul for Bengaluru Police. The gold alone is estimated to be worth Rs 3.4 crore. Police have also recovered 27.2 kg of silver worth Rs 21 lakh, Rs 11 lakh in cash, 7 two-wheelers worth Rs 12 lakh and other items.

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Security Lapse Highlighted

DCP Baba said Lakshmipati’s hacking has exposed vulnerabilities in the bank’s systems and highlights the need for robust cybersecurity measures. The breach allowed the diversion of rewards meant for bank customers. An investigation is underway.

The accused has been remanded to judicial custody. The case highlights the need for improved cybersecurity and data protection measures to safeguard customer data and prevent such incidents.

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