Pay Rs 500 and you can have access to 1 billion Aadhaar numbers, claims report

According to a report in The Tribune, published on January 4, the security of your Aadhaar numbers is under serious threat. The UIDAI had stated that Aadhaar numbers and biometric data are safe and secure and yet, reports keep emerging that seriously question their claims.

In the chilling report, Rachna Khaira of the Tribune News Service states how the paper ‘purchased’ a service being offered on WhatsApp by anonymous traders that provide absolute access to any of the one billion or so Aadhaar numbers in India.

“It took just Rs 500, paid through Paytm, and 10 minutes in which an “agent” of the group running the racket created a “gateway” for this correspondent and gave a login ID and password. Lo and behold, you could enter any Aadhaar number in the portal, and instantly get all particulars that an individual may have submitted to the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), including name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email,” the report recounts.

“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?” CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted.

However, that’s not all.

When the news agency paid a paltry sum of Rs. 300 more, they were given access to a software which facilitated the printing of the Aadhaar card after providing the number.

 UIDAI officials in Chandigarh expressed shock on learning of this and agreed that it seemed to be a massive national security breach. They also took up the matter with their consultants in Bengaluru.
Congress MLA Randeep S Surjewala also hit out at the UIDAI breach.

“This correspondent later again approached Anil Kumar to ask for software to print Aadhaar cards. He asked for Rs 300 through Paytm No. 8107888008 (in the name of ‘Raj’). Once paid, a person identifying himself as Sunil Kumar called from mobile number 7976243548, and installed software on this correspondent’s computer by accessing it remotely through “TeamViewer”. Once the job was done, he deleted the software drivers, even from the recycle bin,” the Tribune report adds.

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