The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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President falls prey to cyber ‘clone’

New Delhi, April 3: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has become the latest victim of cyber crime.

An engineering college dropout from Pune, Prasenjit Vinod Kamble, used the President’s name to send e-mails to scientific establishments and industrial houses asking for donations.

The e-mails, sent from the address, said Kamble was a key member of the Pokhran II team and asked the recipients to donate liberally to a project he had developed.

Several scientists working in leading institutes, honoured to have the President writing directly to them, responded generously to his plea on behalf of the “young scientist”. They also kept in touch with the President’s “protégé” on e-mail.

Kamble spoke of the lectures he had delivered in Moscow. He claimed to have spoken a variety of topics, including “The Memory of Mechanism”, “The Stray Quantum Fields”, “Gravity under the Light of Quantum Sprawling” and “Kinesical Behaviour of Humans”. Russian President Vladimir Putin had presented him with the “Lev Landon Excellence Certificate”, he said.

Everything was going according to Kamble’s plan, till the Department of Atomic Energy Commission heard from one Deepti Reddy who was suspicious of the frequent e-mails she and her family had been getting from the President. She forwarded some of these to the commission.

The commission checked with Rashtrapati Bhavan and found the emails were a hoax. The e-mail ID was then monitored for six to eight months before Mumbai police, with the help of the Intelligence Bureau, tracked down the user.

Kamble, who had to drop out of a Pune engineering college after failing to pay his fees following his father’s death, was arrested last month.

Kamble, who was born and raised at Nepani in Belgaum, was in financial trouble when he thought of the plan of using the President’s name.

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