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Terrorists using ‘Mobile Apps’ to avoid surveillance by Indian army

A new app ‘Calculator’ has been found on smart phones of terrorists infiltrating into Jammu and Kashmir which helps them to remain in touch with their handlers in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) without being detected by technical surveillance mounted by army.

With the number of militants infiltrating from PoK showing a steep rise this year, the Army found that terrorists carried a smart phone with no messages stored in it.The Army’s signal unit, which relies mainly on technical intercepts like usage of wireless and mobile phones by infiltrating terror groups to track them, is burning midnight oil along with National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and other agencies to crack this mechanism used by the terrorists.

The technology was first used by a US-based company during Hurricane ‘Katrina’ so that the affected residents could remain in touch with each other.

During interrogation of some of the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the agencies came to know that the terror outfit had modified it and created an application ‘calculator’ which can be downloaded on smart phones attached to the off-air network created specifically for them.

The technology is based on the concept of ‘cognitive digital radio’ that enables users to turn their smart phones into peer-to-peer, off-grid communication tools.

The network generates its own signal through proprietary ad hoc networking protocols and automatically coordinates with other units within range which enables users to send and receive text messages, share their GPS locations on offline maps regardless of access to WiFi or cellular service.

The terrorists apprehended had their phones paired with the radio sets along the border and were receiving instructions about the route and terrain, official sources quoting interrogation details of some apprehended militants said.

In a related development, the army is trying to plug the holes in the anti-infiltration grid and has already started redeployment of troops.

The infiltration of terrorists from across the border by end of April this year stands at around 35 in Kashmir area.

All the security agencies were unanimous about infiltration from the Jammu side where they claimed militants made three infiltration bids which were foiled by troops.

According to the sources, the militants, who infiltrated recently, have already gone to higher reaches of Bandipora from where they have moved towards central and south Kashmir.

During winter, infiltration is always low. However, this year, winter did not last long and terrorists are suspected to have taken advantage of the favourable weather conditions, sources said.

There were 121 infiltration attempts along the border in Jammu and Kashmir in entire 2015 of which 33 were successful.

In 2014, there were 222 infiltration attempts in the state of which 65 were successful.

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