Karnataka’s digital land records database Bhoomi was breached last week, following which 19 acres of government wasteland in Devanahalli area, around 40 km from Bengaluru, were transferred to a private individual, The Economic Times reported on Monday.

Bhoomi software was launched in 2002 jointly by the Centre and the Karnataka government to digitise all land records in the state to curb corruption and manipulation of data. The software was developed and implemented by the National Informatics Centre.

The Bhoomi Monitoring Cell discovered the breach soon after it happened as any changes made in the database gets recorded immediately. Officials believe land sharks are behind the breach.

The department reportedly discovered another breach two years ago when there was an attempt to change the Record of Rights, Tenancy and Crop Information of a nine-acre government plot in Malur taluk of Kolar district. The revenue department had then approached the police. However, the investigation reportedly did not progress.

Officials said the modus operandi of Malur and Devanahalli cases are similar. “In both cases, the culprit has changed the RTC of government land to a private person by manipulating the database,” the newspaper reported, quoting an unidentified official of the Bhoomi Monitoring Cell. “This has been done bypassing the mutation process.”

Commissioner of Survey Settlement and Land Records Munish Moudgil told the newspaper that the software cannot be hacked at all, and in both cases, some person had logged into the database to make the changes.