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UP STF Busts Gang Making Fake Aadhaar Bypassing UIDAI Security Protocol, 10 Arrested

Image for representation.(Photo: Getty Images)

Image for representation.(Photo: Getty Images)

The fingerprints and retina scans on the fake Aadhaar cards were of the members of the gang. They resorted to this method to complete the biometric parameters.

Lucknow: In a major operation, UP police’s Special Task Force (STF) has busted a gang allegedly involved in making fake Aadhaar cards. Ten people have been arrested so far. Investigation, however, is still on as officers in the case feel that the masterminds, who designed the software bypassing the security protocol, are still at large.

On Sunday, UP STF’s IG Amitabh Yash held a press conference announcing arrest of 10 people from Kanpur. The accused were allegedly making Aadhaar cards by bypassing the security protocol of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Bypassing the security protocol couldn’t have been possible without involvement of engineers and technicians. Yash said “UIDAI has a security protocol authorizing third party vendors to access the main server for making Aadhaar cards. But the arrested men were doing so by bypassing the 3-layer security protocol involving biometric finger impression, retina scan and GPS system”.

The big question is how it was being done as this is first such case. Investigators say a special software was being used to bypass the security protocol.

Recently, UIDAI deactivated about 81 lakh Aadhaar numbers due to such suspicion. In June this year, UIDAI officials suspected a large scale attempt to breach into its security protocol. Doubts were raised about pace of Aadhaar cards being made through authorized third party agents. After which FIRs were filled in some districts of Uttar Pradesh. As initial investigations suggested of a large scale scam, the probe was handed over to STF.

Through electronic surveillance UP STF started linking the dots and found that there was a breach of security protocol. These inputs were then shared with central agencies in August this year.

A point worth noting is that the citizen’s data stored with UIDAI has not been breached at any level.

IG Yash said, “No data has been lost from UIDAI server. Investigations are going on. More arrests can take place. We are focusing on nabbing people who created the software.”

Meanwhile, in its first move UP STF picked up the 10 accused from their den in Kanpur. Multiple devices, including finger scanner, iris scanner, Aadhaar finger scanner, chemically prepared artificial finger prints, rubber stamps and laptops have been seized.

Those arrested can well be part of just one such module involved in making fake Aadhaar cards. Officers don’t deny existence of such modules in other parts of the country.
first published:September 11, 2017, 10:32 IST