Why leaked Aadhaar details should worry an ordinary citizen

Among the world's largest databases is without a doubt the Aadhaar information database. The bulk of indian individuals' biometric and demographic information is linked to 12-digit unique identity numbers, hence the disclosure of an Aadhaar database represents a serious security breach.
The private and personal information of millions of indians is constantly vulnerable to hackers from across the globe attempting to steal it, even after a number of exposures in the past that may have been worth millions of dollars. In one such instance, it has been claimed that a hacker using by the handle "pwn0001" has taken 81.5 crore Indians' Aadhaar, passport, identity, and address credentials and placed them up for sale on the dark web, demonstrating once more how your data can help infamous criminals make a lot.
Resecurity, an American cyber security and intelligence outfit, claimed that the hacker has provided spreadsheets containing fragments of aadhar data as evidence of their validity, and they discovered that the data was being offered for $80,000.
On the other hand, the indian government has made participation in the programme mandatory in practically all areas of public life, despite the volume of complaints about Aadhaar details being stolen and the news of massive data breaches. Despite several reports over the years demonstrating otherwise, the unique identification authority of india (UIDAI) has always claimed that the server and the data, particularly the biometric data, are safe.

In the past few years, there have been multiple cases of Aadhaar databases being compromised through official websites. According to many media sources, the most recent breach may have come from the official website of the indian Council of Medical Research. This might be the second major database leak of the year, following the CoWIN hack earlier in the year. This is by far the largest breach of sensitive and secret data, involving the details of almost half of all indian citizens.
However, shockingly, a survey by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) has shown that over 13 million people's Aadhaar details, together with demographic information and sensitive financial information, have already been hacked and made accessible with just one click.
For years, the public's response to these breaches has likewise been quite subdued, even though experts have repeatedly warned of the dangers these leaks bring. Nonetheless, the uidai has consistently overstated the biometric identification's security while downplaying the dangers mentioned by the experts.
What exactly are the risks of database leaks?

There is an endless list of hazards associated with a hacked database. For those who have experienced data theft, hacked databases may provide a number of threats, ranging from phishing scams to online verification scams.
With little to no security precautions and no encryption, a number of government websites have made the Aadhaar details of recipients and the advantages of the social programmes they are eligible for public available. Such private information is readily accessible on official websites, making it easy to misuse and deposit unlawful amounts of money into these accounts, so exposing the recipients to liability.

Cyber security expert Anil Rachamalla of the End anymore Foundation notes that "with our data being made available online, we are no better than merchandise sold in malls now," highlighting a few of the numerous threats.
"With the now-compromised details, fraudsters can resort to many attacks, from phishing attacks to duplicating Aadhaar numbers to acquire bank loans," adds Rachamalla, who also notes that the nation's residents are being reduced to simple commodities with vast quantities of private data being traded.
Since Aadhaar cards are now required for a great deal of non-financial activities in Indians' daily lives, thieves might easily get personal information, including wealth and health, by using a 12-digit unique identifying number.
The expert states, "With all the details that will be linked to your Aadhaar number, one can find out your height, weight, skin colour, financial status, marital status, and much more." Target advertisements are another outcome of the stolen data, the expert adds.

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