The Unique Identification Authority of India on Tuesday dismissed as “completely incorrect and baseless” a news report that claimed that a software hack, which can bypass some critical security features of the Aadhaar enrolment platform, is available on WhatsApp groups for as little as Rs 2,500.
In a statement on Twitter, the UIDAI said that “certain vested interests are deliberately trying to create confusion in the minds of people”. All necessary safeguard measures, such as providing standardised software that encrypts all the data before saving it to the disk, are taken, the UIDAI said.
The report by HuffPost India claimed that the hack can help unauthorised people, based anywhere in the world, generate Aadhaar numbers at will. But the UIDAI said no operator can make or operate Aadhaar unless a person gives their biometrics.
The UIDAI said that its enrolment and updation process was stringent. It was not possible to introduce “ghost entries” into the database as the Aadhaar authority checked the enrolment operator’s biometric and other parameters before processing the entry, it added.
If a ghost entry does take place and operators connected to it are identified, they are permanently blocked and blacklisted from the database and also fined up to Rs 1 lakh, said the UIDAI. “In appropriate cases, police complaints are also filed for such fraudulent attempts,” it said. Till date, 50,000 operators have been blacklisted, said the statement.
However, operators no longer authorised to enrol people for Aadhaar told HuffPost India that they can still generate enrolment IDs using the hack, the report had claimed. An operator can use it to log into multiple computers at the same time, reducing the enrolment cost and increasing profits. Normally, only authorised computers can register citizens for Aadhaar.
The hack can defeat many aims of Aadhaar, such as reducing corruption and eliminating fraud in government welfare schemes, experts were quoted as saying.