Sensitive data of over 280 million Indian citizens was allegedly left exposed for an unknown period of time, Bob Diachenko, a cybersecurity researcher at SecurityDiscovery.com, reported on August 2. According to Diachenko, the data appeared to be part of the Universal Account Number database. UAN is allotted by the Employees’ Fund Organization (EPFO), which is one of the two government bodies responsible for the regulation and management of provident funds in India. MediaNama has not been able to independently confirm the veracity of this disclosure. MediaNama has reached out to EPFO to confirm or deny the allegations and will update this piece once we get a response. The exposed database was taken down within 12 hours of Diachenko tweeting about it, but it's not known for how long this information was exposed before search engines indexed them, the researcher said. https://twitter.com/MayhemDayOne/status/1554571684459560961?s=20&t=L10lngzBifT2Ez1mCyodQQ Why does this matter? If the allegations are true, this could be one of the largest data breaches given that over 280 million records were exposed. These records contained sensitive details like address, bank account number, income levels, Aadhaar details, etc. Even though the records are no longer exposed, it is not known if someone had accessed and downloaded them during the period that it was. This incident also sheds a bad light on the security and privacy practices of government institutions, who collect and store a trove of personal data of Indian citizens. “From what I understood, information from the database could have been used to put together a complete…
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