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A lapse in security has led to the leaking of over a hundred thousand Aadhaar numbers, TechCrunch can reveal.
One of the web systems used to record attendance of government workers for the Indian state of Jharkhand was left exposed and without a password as far back as 2014, allowing anyone access to names, job titles, and partial phone numbers on 166,000 workers as of the time of writing.
Photo - Record - Page - File - Name
But the photo on each record page used the file name as that worker’s Aadhaar number, a confidential 12-digit number assigned to each Indian citizen as part of the country’s national identity and biometric database.
The data leak isn’t a direct breach of the central database run by Aadhaar’s regulator, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), but represents another lapse in responsibility from the authority charged with protecting its data.
Aadhaar - Numbers - Social - Security - Numbers
Aadhaar numbers aren’t strictly secret but are treated similarly to Social Security numbers. Anyone of the 1.23 billion Indian citizens enrolled in Aadhaar — more than 90 percent of the population — can use their unique number or their thumbprint to verify their identity in order to enroll in state services, like voting, welfare or financial assistance. Aadhaar users can even use their Aadhaar identity to open a bank account, get a SIM card, call an Uber, buy something on Amazon, or rent an Airbnb.
But the system has been plagued with problems that have led to starvation in cases, and the illicit trade of citizen data on the underground market.
Jharkhand - Government - Site - Anyone - Effort
It’s unclear why the Jharkhand government site was accessible to anyone who knew where to look, but little effort had been put in to ensure the security of the system — or even hide it from the outside world. The site was easily found on a subdomain of the state government’s website, but for long...
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