When TRAI chairman RS Sharma tweeted out his Aadhaar number, challenging critics to show “one concrete example where you can do any harm to me (Sharma)”, he perhaps didn't expect this to happen.
Ethical hackers beat Sharma to the punch after they claimed to have procured his bank account details. If there wasn’t enough salt on the chairman’s wound already, Twitterati then decided to post screenshots of sending Re 1 to Sharma via the Aadhaar-Enabled Payment Service like PayTM and Bhim.
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
By Sunday, ethical hackers pointed out to Sharma that they had managed to leak 14 personal details of the TRAI chairman so far, including his mobile number, PAN number, residential address, date of birth and even his current WhatsApp display picture. Several users also used his details to forge other government IDs.
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 pic.twitter.com/IVrReb4xIM — Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) July 28, 2018
I supposed this is your wife or daughter next to you pic.twitter.com/UPSru1PGUT
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) July 28, 2018
Sorry for this Sir, But this is only for educational purpose. I made a FAKE aadhar of yours and uploaded to Facebook and Amazon Cloud Services, And what both of them accepted this as a proof of identity. I may use Amazon Services and Facebook ads service on your name now. pic.twitter.com/pOP4heBNFJ — Rahul Dhiman (@enggdhiman) July 29, 2018
The hackers also claimed to have his bank account number and the IFSC code to five of his other accounts in Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India (joint account), Bank of India, ICICI and Kotak Mahindra.
Several Twitter users decided to donate Sharma Re 1 via AEPS, cautioning him that this could make him more vulnerable to blackmails and extortion.
My donation to @rssharma3 's aadhaar via BHIM to build Govt systems with better engineering to protect user privacy.
— 4||1V4r (@anivar) July 28, 2018
Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) however refuted all claims about accessing Ram Sewak Sharma’s personal details.
Aadhaar database is fully safe and secure and no such information about Mr Sharma has been fetched from UIDAI’s severs or Aadhaar database. This is merely cheap publicity by these unscrupulous elements who try to attract attention by creating such fake news. 8/n — Aadhaar (@UIDAI) July 29, 2018