ADHAAR data exposed of more than 800 million Indians in a recent ICMR data breach

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ADHAAR data exposed of more than 800 million Indians in a recent ICMR data breach

A US-based cybersecurity expert Resecurity, has reported that ICMR, Indian Clinical Medical Research ICMR got data breached in September. They have observed that a threat actor who goes by the name of pawn001 has posted on data breach forums about the same. The threat actor posted samples of data of over at least 100000 citizens in the form of spreadsheets containing the details stolen. 

It was reported that the data breach is one of the biggest data breaches in history with data exposed of more than 800 million citizens consisting of ADHAR (unique identification number for citizens) specific data and other sensitive data such as passports, addresses and numbers. That is over half of the population of India which stands at around 1.5 billion.  Just for the sake of reference countries like Turkey, Canada, Iran and Singapore all have a population less than this number. 

By approaching the threat actor on the dark web, experts have found that the threat actor is willing to trade the data set for $80000. However, the threat actor didn’t reveal how they orchestrated the attack.   

What makes it dangerous is the fact that the data of millions of citizens can be used by cyber attackers to engage in tailored phishing attacks. This could result in a financial loss since ADHAAR serves as an accepted verification method for multiple businesses and government agencies.   

As per the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, a detailed investigation has been launched by the Central Bureau of Investigation to gain complete information about the said data breach.  

This has come as a big shocker for the entire country since last month when cybersecurity experts and researchers found the official website of the Ministry of AYUSH being breached by a threat actor named Tanaka.  The attackers stole data of more than 320000 patients including Personal Identifiable Information (PII) of doctors and patients such as phone numbers and health records of patients.   

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