UIDAI probing reported Aadhaar data breach, but denies information leak

Jan 05, 2018, 12:27
UIDAI probing reported Aadhaar data breach, but denies information leak

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Thursday said its search facility for grievance redressal may have been misused but denied any breach or leak of Aadhaar data after a newspaper reported it bought unrestricted access to details of over one billion Aadhaar numbers - for just Rs 500 and in 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, commenting on The Tribune's report on the leak of Aadhaar data, former US National Security Agency contractor and whistle blower Edward Snowden said it was a "natural tendency" for any government to seek the ideal records of private lives.

UIDAI released a statement saying that the case "appears to be an instance of misuse" of grievance redressal search facility.

Also, the mere availability of Aadhaar number will not be a security threat or will not lead to financial/other fraud, as for a successful authentication fingerprint or iris of the individual is also required. "As UIDAI maintains complete log and traceability of the facility, the legal action including lodging of FIR against the persons involved in the instant case is being done".

According to local newspaper, in Internet you can also buy software to generate fake identity cards, such as those issued by Aadhaar.

He was responding to reports suggesting a massive security breach when details of over a billion Aadhaar card holders could reportedly be accessed in return of Rs 500.

The Aadhaar-issuing body said the search facility is designed for designated personnel and state government officials to help residents.

It has been claimed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was leveraging tools of US-based technology provider Cross Match (an Aadhaar vendor) for snooping, and that sensitive data could have been compromised. For an additional 300-rupee ($4.71) fee, the Tribune was also able to gain access to software that allows users to print out fake Aadhaar identification cards.

The Tribune said: "UIDAI has admitted that a facility on their website has been "misused".

The Aadhaar database "remains fully safe and secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic information can not be misused without biometrics".

The agency said it had initiated a police complaint against the people responsible for selling the access, but did not identify them. "That is a partial breach of the biometric data too, even if biometric data was not downloaded".

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