CA Sandeep Kanoi
Recently we have read on many websites that a CA student from Hyderabad has hacked Income Tax returns account of industrialist Anil Ambani and yesterday it comes to news that one more CA student from Noida has hacked the Income Tax Return Account of Bollywood bigwigs Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan and cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni.
The above CA students are not professional hackers but they are simply the CA students, who may not even be aware of simple hacking techniques. Now the question is if they are not hackers and they may not even be aware of simple hacking techniques then how they were able to hack the account of abovementioed Income Tax Assessees?
The modus operandi in both the cases was similar. The two had sent e-mails to the I-T department seeking change in the password of the person whose account they planned to hack into. The I-T department then did the needful, a procedure that highlights the fragility of the department and loopholes in the system followed by Income Tax Department.
In both the cases above the Investigation team has not only searched the office of CA student but also seized Computer and Server of the CA firm which may have also disturbed the work of CA Firm in which these students were pursuing there CA Articleship.
Need of the Hour :-
1. Chartered Accountants should educate there students about the violation of Information Technology Act at the start of articleship, so that their students do not try to hack or login into accounts of persons they are not authorise to.
2. CA should have an Letter of Authority from there clients regarding use of online e-filing account of clients as in most of the cases CA themselves upload and approve the Returns of their clients so that in past if any dispute arises CA can safeguard themselves.
3. Income Tax Department should further tighten up the security of Income tax E-Filing website.
4. Government should create awareness about Information Technology Act.
Although these CA students has committed a crime by violating Information Technology Act but the same is been done just out of curiosity and due to lack of awareness of the Information Technology Act. But being a citizen of India it is expected from us to be aware of the law of country so students are requested and cautioned to be more aware and vigilant.
Lets hope that department will take a lesson from the recent hacking incidents and will further tighten up the security of Income Tax e-filing accounts.