New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma’s alleged personal details were leaked on Saturday by a French security expert after he threw a challenge and tweeted his 12-digit Aadhaar number saying, ‘Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me’.
Causing ripples on the social media, the French security expert, who goes by the nickname Elliot Alderson and uses twitter handle @fs0c131y, leaked the “personal address, DoB, alternate phone number” of the TRAI chief, in a series of tweets, explaining to him how risky it was to make the UIDAI number public.
“People managed to get your personal address, DoB and your alternate phone number. I stop here, I hope you will understand why make your Aadhaar number public is not a good idea,” Alderson wrote.
Sharma, a known defender of Aadhaar, has been maintaining that the unique ID does not violate privacy and the government reserved a right to create such a database of residents since it gives subsidies on state-run welfare schemes.
Within hours of tweeting his Aadhaar number, Anderson replied to Sharma: “The phone number linked to this #Aadhaar number is 9958587977. However, Sharma was quick in replying. He said: “That does not cause me any harm! Does it?”
“According to an official @nicmeity circular, this phone number is the number of your secretary,” Anderson wrote and posted a link to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology circular.
The security researcher also posted a picture of Sharma with a portion of it blackened. “I supposed this is your wife or daughter next to you.”
A twitter user had earlier asked Sharma to “walk your talk” after the TRAI chief tweeted his interview with an online portal in which he strongly defended Aadhaar and rejected apprehensions that one billion Aadhaar accounts were vulnerable.
Accepting the challenge, Sharma tweeted,”My Aadhaar number is 7621 7768 2740. Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me.” His tenure ends on August 9.
Supporting his claim, he said that there had not been a single instance of data being breached and had there been one, the entire Aadhaar database would have been vulnerable.
Anderson also posted screenshots of Sharma’s leaked details with key areas blackened and hidden.
One of the screenshots even carried his PAN details. But that was also hidden. He also tweeted that ‘no bank account is linked to this Aadhaar number’. To this, Sharma replied: “Looks like you are not as good as you claim to be! All my bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar. Further, even if you know my bank account number, so what!”
Anderson is known to have revealed security loopholes in the Aadhaar data system.