Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma’s alleged personal details were leaked on Saturday by a French security expert after he threw a challenge and tweeted his 12-digit Aadhaar number saying, ‘Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me’.
Causing ripples on the social media, the French security expert, who goes by the nickname Elliot Alderson and uses twitter handle @fs0c131y, leaked the “personal address, DoB, alternate phone number” of the TRAI chief, in a series of tweets, explaining to him how risky it was to make the Aadhaar number public.
“People managed to get your personal address, DoB and your alternate phone number. I stop here, I hope you will understand why make your Aadhaar number public is not a good idea,” Alderson wrote.
Sharma, a known defender of Aadhaar, has been maintaining that the unique ID does not violate privacy and the government reserved a right to create such a database of residents since it gives subsidies on state-run welfare schemes.
Within hours of tweeting his Aadhaar number, Anderson replied to Sharma: “The phone number linked to this #Aadhaar number is 9958587977.
No bank account is linked to this #Aadhaar number
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) July 28, 2018
“According to an official @nicmeity circular, this phone number is the number of your secretary,” Anderson wrote and posted a link to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology circular.
The security researched also posted a picture of Sharma with a portion of it blackened. “I supposed this is your wife or daughter next to you.”
“My Aadhaar number is 7621 7768 2740. Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me,” tweeted Sharma, whose tenure ends on August 9.
Walk your talk @rssharma3!
Publish your Aadhaar details to the public if you have so much trust in this 13ft wall secured system.https://t.co/oZevZyqosN
— @kingslyj (@kingslyj) July 28, 2018
My Aadhaar number is 7621 7768 2740
Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me!
— RS Sharma (@rssharma3) July 28, 2018
A twitter user had earlier asked Sharma to “walk your talk” after the TRAI chief tweeted his interview with an online portal in which he strongly defended Aadhaar and rejected apprehensions that one billion Aadhaar accounts were vulnerable.
He said there had not been a single instance of data being breached and had there been one, the entire Aadhaar database would have been vulnerable.
Anderson, who is known to have revealed security loopholes in the Aadhaar data system, also posted screenshots of Sharma’s leaked details with key areas blackened and hidden.
One of the screenshots even carried his PAN details. But that was also hidden.