Personal Data of Over 81 Crore Indians Allegedly Leaked and Sold on Dark Web: Report

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In a troubling revelation, it has been reported that the personal data of over 81 crore Indian citizens has been allegedly leaked and put up for sale on the dark web. The data in question pertains to COVID-19 test records and was reportedly stored by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The breach came to light through the efforts of an American cybersecurity and intelligence agency.

The data breach is said to include sensitive information such as the names of beneficiaries, addresses, phone numbers, and Aadhaar card numbers. The breach was also advertised on a platform known as “X,” formerly Twitter, where the individual responsible, referred to as the ‘threat actor,’ disclosed further details. Reportedly, the ‘threat actor’ shared spreadsheets containing four significant leak samples, each containing one lakh records of personally identifiable information linked to Indian residents, claims The Hindu Business Line report.

Health Ministry officials have confirmed that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) has been notified of the breach by the ICMR. The exact source of the breach remains uncertain, as it is unclear whether the hacker infiltrated the ICMR’s systems or if the data was compromised from other sources.

A Health Ministry official stated, “Verification of the breach reports is currently ongoing,” highlighting the urgency of the situation.

This incident is not the first time that India’s health system has fallen victim to cyberattacks. Earlier this year, reports of Covid-19 vaccination data breaches emerged. Initially, it was believed that the breach occurred through the CoWIN portal, but subsequent investigations revealed breaches across various state government databases.

ALSO CHECK: How to book Covid Booster Vaccine Appointment Slot

In November 2022, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) faced a cyberattack that disrupted the functioning of the outpatient department (OPD) and sample collection services as the institution’s servers were compromised.

This alarming breach raises concerns about the security of sensitive health data in India and underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect citizens’ personal information from malicious actors on the dark web. Authorities are working diligently to investigate the breach and prevent further data leaks, with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team playing a pivotal role in these efforts.

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Smartprix StaffSmartprix Staff
The SM Staff team consists of tech-savvy writers and editors adept at simplifying complex tech into easily understandable information.



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