Computer could reveal Army major a spy

Confusion reigns over whether an Indian Army major had been sending secret emails to Pakistan.

The Army and the Ministry of Defence think that the Army major based in the Andamans was the victim of a hacking by Pakistan. But spooks at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are not so sure.

The major was brought back to the Indian capital for questioning by the NIA  after US intelligence picked up some unusual traffic from his computer.

US spooks were looking into the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley. They found a user in Andaman and Nicobar Islands dispatching to a computer in Pakistan a picture of a serving Indian brigadier who was attending a training programme in the US.

The Indians started looking at the major and found that sensitive information was being accessed from two proxy servers one of which was based in Pakistan.

A forensic report has also pointed out that some key files and e-mails were deleted from the computer after it was seized by authorities.

The major has pleaded ignorance and the army and the defence ministry have ruled out espionage, saying it was a cyber security breach.

The NIA say that the major had been breaching the stringent Official Secrets Act. He had more than 2,500 defence presentations on his personal computer, much beyond his sphere of work. Some of these files, the sources said, are “secret and even top secret”.

The computer is currently with the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Hyderabad.