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EPFO denies any data breach took place in July or August 2022: RTI

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation denied a data breach in July or August 2022 for the first time on record in response to an RTI.

“EPFO did not suffer from a data breach in July or August 2022,” the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation said in response to an RTI request filed by MediaNama in September. EPFO is one of the two government bodies responsible for the regulation and management of provident funds in India. Why does this matter: Back in August, a cybersecurity researcher claimed that sensitive data of over 28 crore Indian citizens was allegedly left exposed from EPFO’s Universal Account Number (UAN) database. These records contained sensitive details like address, bank account number, income levels, Aadhaar details, etc. If true, this would have been one of the largest data breaches in India. EPFO did not confirm or deny the breach back then. What do we know about the alleged attack: “On August 2nd, 2022, an internal report caught my attention. Our systems identified 2 (two) separate IPs with passwordless Elasticsearch clusters containing indices called “UAN”. After quick review of the samples (using a simple browser), I was sure that I am looking at something big and important. First IP with Elasticsearch cluster contained 280,472,941 records. Second IP contained 8,390,524 records,” Bob Diachenko, a cybersecurity researcher at SecurityDiscovery.com, claimed. According to the researcher, each record had the following structure: 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. Elsewhere on Twitter, cybersecurity experts have pointed out that this data could…

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