Bollywood actress Pooja Bedi, an eminent pop-culture icon in the country, had a ransomware attack on her website. According to Bedi’s statements to local authorities, hackers took control of the actress’ commercial website and demanded a ransom to hand the reins back to her. Moreover, the hackers threatened that they would use the website for sales of narcotic substances if the ransom is not paid.
This incident strikes India at a time when all of Bollywood is under check, facing a serious narcotics charge. Additionally, ransomware attacks are rampant across the globe, and malicious actors are constantly using social engineering techniques to explore new modus operandis.
Pooja Bedi owns an e-commerce website, “happysoul.in”, which ransomware hackers attacked. Bedi took to Twitter to voice her plight, where she alerted local police authorities about the hack and posted a screenshot of the ransom note. The note clearly states the ransom demand – 0.2 bitcoins, a little more than 1.5 lakh INR, and approximately $2100. The hackers also threatened to use the website as a sales window for narcotics if the ransom was not paid, clearly taking advantage of the fragile state of the Indian film industry.
Dear @DGP_Goa my ecommerce website https://t.co/zjGS86eyQX HACKED AGAIN last night & this time they state if i don’t pay ransom they will sell DRUGS on my website. I have registered FIR in old goa police cyber cell last week but no action from cops.
My company regd in Goa @goacm pic.twitter.com/X6UZQmASkZ
— Pooja Bedi (@poojabeditweets) October 5, 2020
In a tweet, she said “Dear @DGP_Goa my eCommerce website http://happysoul.in HACKED AGAIN last night & this time they state if I don’t pay the ransom they will sell DRUGS on my website. I have registered (an) FIR in Old Goa Police Cyber Cell last week but no action from Cops. My company regd in Goa @goacm”.
Pooja Bedi also tweeted to website coordinator ‘GoDaddy’, the curator and provider of the web address. According to the tweet, GoDaddy also has not been of much help to her. The actions of law enforcement authorities have not been revealed yet, although the Cyber Cell of the local police department has been alerted. The actress is currently living in the state of Goa in Western India.