Three people were arrested and three web cameras, one cooling pad, three laptops, three LCDs, a biometric machine, a finger-print scanner, 65 Aadhar cards, one PAN card, eight voter IDs, lamination machines and other equipment were confiscated during a raid in Pachchhaiya in Amroha, reports ToI. Acting on a tip off, Amroha police raided a shop where Aadhaar cards were being issued illegally and arrested Kannan And Aslaan.

The duo were using a stamp of the fingerprints of one Mohammad Sakib who ran a public service centre. He was arrested as well and a case has been registered under sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 464 (Making a false document), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of IPC.”

MediaNama’s take

UIDAI’s ECMP Aadhaar Enrolment Software now requires iris verification of Aadhaar operators as well as fingerprints, in addition to geolocation, which means that if the arrested accused were able to issue Aadhaar cards from their set up, they were also using a cracked version of the Aadhaar Enrolment Software in a manner similar to the Kanpur Aadhaar Enrolment Scam.

Also, the title in the Times of India report is somewhat misleading, as the Aadhaars issued by this illegal set up would not be fake, but real, even though issued illegally.

Ironically, on the day before the arrest, UIDAI had issued a tweeted press statement claiming that it was not possible to bypass biometric verification for their enrolment software.

Other instances of Aadhaar Enrolment Software being bypassed

  • The Kanpur Aadhaar enrolment Scam: the software was patched to bypass iris authentication and copies of fingerprints of authorized operators were used to login and create or update Aadhaar cards.
  • The Asia Times report of cracked ECMP software that worked “out of the box” – it came preconfigured with valid credentials of operators and a patch to bypass geographical restrictions that prevented access from unauthorized locations.
  • Biometrics and details of nationalised bank officer Prashant Morvadiya were sold on a pen drive for Rs. 6000 to enable access to update Aadhaar data using his credentials, in a scam the police believe to be operating for a year when it was caught.