Aadhaar data hack: IIT Kharagpur graduate arrested, earns Rs 40 lakh a year at Ola

Aadhaar data hack: IIT Kharagpur graduate arrested, earns Rs 40 lakh a year at Ola


An IIT Kharagpur graduate, Abhinav Srivastava, who allegedly hacked Aadhaar data has been arrested by Bengaluru Police. According to investigation, Srivastava had gained access to the repository of the Unique Identification Development Authority of India’s (UIDAI) Aadhaar project through the Digital India e-hospital portal. The 31-year-old hails from Uttar Pradesh and was arrested in connection with a complaint filed by the UIDAI on July 26, according to Indian Express.

Police said the complaint against Srivastava stated that he accessed UIDAI data without authorisation between January 1 and July 26 for an app called ‘eKYC Verification’. With the access, the app delivered various demographic data like name, address, phone number of individuals from the central identities data depository of Aadhaar to authenticate unique identity numbers, the Indian Express report said. The app was made available on Google Play Store with the claim that it was developed by an entity called myGov linked to the start-up Qarth Technologies, which had been acquired by the taxi hailing service Ola in 2016, the report said.

According to police, Srivastava hacked into the Aadhaar-enabled e-hospital system created under the Digital India project of the Government of India to access the central identities data repository of UIDAI for verification of Aadhaar numbers. Police said Srivastava has a very high technical expertise and has a deep interest in developing softwares. After developing Aadhaar e-KYC verification mobile application in January 2017 he earned about Rs 40,000 from advertisements, they added.

T Suneel Kumar, Bengaluru Police Commissioner yesterday said, “The accused accessed UIDAI data through the e-hospital application and its server. He provided Aadhaar information to people through the app.’’ After Ola acquired the start-up Qarth Technologies in 2016 — created by Srivastava and his IIT Kharagpur batchmate Prerit Srivastava– the accused was employed with the taxi aggregator company. He was earning Rs 40 lakh a year at Ola, Kumar said. Police sources said they were also probing if Srivastava had been aided by anyone in hacking into the e-hospital system, as per Indian Express report.