TRAI Chief’s Aadhaar Challenge Decoded: This Is What Exactly Happened!

The term 'data hack' is now open to debate: How much data is public, and how much is private now?

The Aadhaar Challenge on Twitter!
The Aadhaar Challenge on Twitter!

48 hours ago, Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI), RS Sharma, decided to throw a Aadhaar challenge on Twitter.

He publically mentioned his Aadhaar number, and challenged anyone to ‘harm him’, using that.

What exactly happened after that? Was his private information leaked? Here, we have decoded everything which happened after that.

The Aadhaar Challenge!

After a heated online discussion on the issue of Aadhaar security, TRAI Chairman decided to share his own Aadhaar number, and challenged anyone to do harm to him.

His first tweet:

This Tweet was posted on July 28th, at 1.44 PM.

Soon after this, Twitter became a battle ground of trolls, hackers and security experts, and everyone scrambled to dig out private information about RS Sharma, using his Aadhaar number.

The Aftermath Of Aadhaar Challenge!

Elliot Anderson, a self-proclaimed ‘French security researcher’, who had earlier investigated security loopholes in the overall security structure of UIDAI and some apps, smartphone brands, took this challenge, and started digging information using RS Sharma’s Aadhaar details.

His first tweet was:

This was posted on July 28th, at 4.02 PM.

In the next couple of hours, Elliot tweeted a barrage of public information about RS Sharma, which is anyways available across public domain.

In the next tweet, he mentioned RS Sharma’s phone number, and then revealed that this number belongs to secretary.

Then, he shared RS Sharma’s profile pic of Whatsapp, and then his address, date of birth and alternate phone numbers.

In between, he also requested RS Sharma to remove his personal details from public domain.

By 7.46 PM on July 28th, Elliot had dug out RS Sharma’s PAN Card number as well.

He also mentioned the fact that there is no bank account linked with RS Sharma’s Aadhaar number.

In the end, he declared that UIDAI’s database is not safe.

To tease his further, he also said that Sharma needs to change his Gmail password.

Later, Elliot claimed that his tweets about the Aadhaar challenge earned him 5.7 million impressions.

UIDAI Dismisses This Data Hack!

Once Elliot’s Twitter handle shared these details, UIDAI, the creator Aadhaar, dismissed the data hack, and declared that no personal or private information about RS Sharma was revealed through his Aadhaar number.

The press release categorically stated: “…any information published on Twitter about the said individual…RS Sharma was not fetched from Aadhaar database or UIDAI’s servers.”

As per UIDAI, the information shared by Elliot and other Twitter users was easily available on the public domain, as RS Sharma is a public servant.

UIDAI tweeted:

UIDAI has even described the data hacks on Twitter as ‘fake news’, as none of the details were extracted from Aadhaar’s database. Date of birth, phone number, PAN etc are all available on Google, even without Aadhaar number, as per UIDIA.

RS Sharma also received support from a section of Twitter users, who said that no private information was hacked.

So, who won the challenge here? The matter is open to debate.

Do share your views and opinions on this news, by commenting right here!

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  2. DSS Software Solutions says

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