U.S. cyber security firm indicates data breach sourced from ICMR

ICMR has faced multiple cyber-attack attempts since February, and the latest alleged breach also involves a ‘threat actor’ with a handle on X advertising the database for sale on the dark web, claiming that this COVID-19 test details of citizens have been sourced from ICMR

October 31, 2023 06:00 am | Updated 10:21 am IST - NEW DELHI

Representational image.

Representational image. | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The Central Government is yet to respond to reports about the American cyber security and intelligence agency Resecurity’s alert on the alleged data leak of over 81 crore Indians Aadhaar and passport information along with names, phone numbers and addresses with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

(For top health news of the day, subscribe to our newsletter Health Matters)

ICMR has faced multiple cyber-attack attempts since February, and the latest alleged breach also involves a ‘threat actor’ with a handle on X advertising the database for sale on the dark web, claiming that this COVID-19 test details of citizens have been sourced from ICMR.

While Resecurity did not speculate on how the Aadhaar numbers, addresses and other such personal information found their way into the dark web in such numbers, this is not the first time a breach has surfaced on large databases with Indians’ information. In June, a Telegram chat allowed people to fetch any entries from the CoWIN vaccination portal’s database, potentially allowing the Aadhaar or passport numbers of vaccinated beneficiaries to leak. 

It is not clear if that breach, for which a man and a minor in Bihar were detained, is related to this one. The law is not yet set on data breaches of this kind, as the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, has not yet been notified, even though it passed Parliament and received the President’s assent in August.

There are reports about ICMR being alerted about the breach, while the epicentre of leakage has not been identified. “A threat actor going by the alias ‘pwn0001’ posted a thread on Breach Forums on October 9, brokering access to Indian Citizen Aadhaar & Passport records,” notes reports. 

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.