Your Aadhaar details including your phone number, mail id and address, are available to anyone for just a payment of Rs 500. And all of this just takes 10 minutes.
An investigation by The Tribune newspaper has revealed a shocking racket operating in Punjab’s Jalandhar, where a user, on the payment of Rs 500 can access full details of around all the 1 billion Aadhaar cards registered across the country till now.
The racket punctures the claims made by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in November where it had said “Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.”
Posing as a customer, the reporter of The Tribune got in touch with a WhatsApp group where operatives promised to ensure unrestricted access to Aadhaar database. Within ten minutes of making a payment of Rs 500 to the group through PayTm, the reporter was given a log in id and password. Once the details were submitted on the gateway, the reporter was able to access each and every detail of an individual by just entering the Aadhaar number.
There’s more shock. The reporter also paid additional Rs 300 to the “agent” to get a software that facilitates in the printing of the Aadhaar card after entering the Aadhaar number of any individual.
This is what your Aadhar number consists of –
- e-mail id
- phone number
When this breach was brought to the notice of authorities, they were clueless.
“Except the Director-General and I, no third person in Punjab should have a login access to our official portal. Anyone else having access is illegal, and is a major national security breach,” Sanjay Jindal, Additional Director-General, UIDAI Regional Centre, Chandigarh told The Tribune.
Meanwhile, UIDAI, in a brief reaction, has denied the media report and called it a case of misreporting.
Unique Identification Authority of India denies media report titled “Rs 500, 10 minutes, & you have access to billion Aadhaar details” & calls it is a case of misreporting. UIDAI assures that there has not been any Aadhaar data breach & that the data is fully safe & secure: UIDAI pic.twitter.com/yvP8HQy180
— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2018
Union governments have spent more than Rs 8500 crores since the inception of Aadhaar project in 2009.
In December, the Supreme Court had extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar with all government-sponsored welfare schemes and services to March 31, 2018. The court also decided to commence the final hearing on the petitions challenging the legality of the Aadhaar scheme itself from January 17, 2018.
The report evoked strong reactions on social media with some top opposition leaders asking the government to do away with the project.
Aadhaar details of over a billion people available for Rs. 500?
Oh No! The government may now try to fix this by banning 500 rupee notes.https://t.co/HZjDTsSB0P
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) January 4, 2018
The perils of making Aadhaar mandatory and linking it to bank accounts, as insisted upon by Modi govt, are visible here. Do we need more proof to stop this madness? https://t.co/9OEbitCmDO
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) January 4, 2018
‘AADHAR’ data breached yet again!
As every citizen’s personal information is exposed to hackers everyday & ‘Right to Privacy’ is mocked and flouted with impunity, Modi Govt remains immune.
Is anyone listening?https://t.co/UDSfOlSWv9
— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) January 4, 2018
Hello biometricked citizens of India.
UIDAI’s central server has been breached. All of our Aadhaar data, all 1 billion of us, can be bought for FUCKIN Rs 500!
That’s how cheap our info is. The government has screwed with all of our lives quite royally.https://t.co/9IiojtjCaR
— Meghnad (@Memeghnad) January 4, 2018
Just to give people a perspective. A billion Aadhaar details cost less than a single stolen Netflix account. Why? You have to work harder to steal a Netflix account. #AadhaarLeak pic.twitter.com/e2NLTdqhn4
— Siladitya Ray (@SiladityaRay) January 4, 2018
With everyone’s address and phone number publicly available after total Aadhaar leak, wonder why should anyone feel secure.
— Sushant Sinha (@sushantsinha) January 4, 2018