The biometric data and Aadhaar numbers of lakhs of people in the state were leaked following a security breach in West Bengal’s e-district web portal, independent security researcher Sourajeet Majumdar. Online media outlet TechCrunch reports that the problem with the web portal was fixed last week. This is a website that people rely on to get land title documents, various certificates etc.
Sourajeet says that he was able to get copies of the land ownership documents of various people from the E-District website. These documents contain names, pictures, fingerprints and identification documents of the property owners. Sourajeet also received land documents with multiple owners.
Aadhaar numbers are also included in the identity documents. Aadhaar works based on biometric information including fingerprints. Aadhaar is used for banking, cellphone connection and government benefits. Disclosure of Aadhaar number and fingerprints in location records puts the Aadhaar security of those individuals at risk.
Sourajeet would have reported the security breach to India’s Computer Emergency Response Team and the West Bengal government and fixed it.
This incident comes at a time when large-scale financial frauds are taking place and the security of Aadhaar systems is constantly being questioned. But this is currently not a security breach of Aadhaar. Rather the problem is with the e-District website.