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India’s state owned gas company Indane exposes millions of confidential Aadhaar numbers

India’s state owned gas company Indane exposes millions of confidential Aadhaar numbers

Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number for all citizens of India makes up the world’s largest biometric ID system, with over ninety percent of India’s 1.3 billion people enrolled in it. It is a proof of residence and can be used to apply for welfare or government subsidies and financial assistance. It is similar to Social Security numbers in the United States. In what could result in a catastrophic breach of confidential information, Indane, India’s state-owned provider of gas has inadvertently exposed the Aadhaar numbers of about 6 million people.

Customers of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) corporations receive their supply through regional dealers and distributors. The website for the government company exposed parts of its site that were only meant for distributors, as it was allowed to be indexed by Google, thereby allowing anyone to bypass the login page without secure user ids and passwords. This allowed anyone who knew where to look almost unrestricted access the dealer database. Customers sign up for the service using their confidential Aadhaar numbers through the dealers and so, this loophole exposed the Aadhaar details of up to 6 million residents of India.

This is the second time that Indane has risked its security, the first one having been last year. The corporation has over 90 million customers all over the country and these leaks are definitely a major cause for concern.


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