A report from US cybersecurity firm Resecurity has revealed that the personal data of 815 million Indians, including their names, phone numbers, addresses, Aadhaar, and passport information, has surfaced on the Dark Web. Hackers have also invited bids to sell the entire lot of Aadhaar and Indian passport database for $80,000, according to a report in the Business Standard.
This revelation gains more significance, as a fraud scheme targeting the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) using victims’ biometric data is also spreading. The latest scam came to light after Kolkata Police on October 5, 2023 arrested five people accused of stealing electronic data for siphoning funds using AePS. The process allowed scammers to siphon funds without relying on SMS or OTP authentication.
In the light of these scams, Bengaluru Police also on October 25, 2023, issued warnings on social media platform X (previously Twitter), urging individuals to lock their Aadhaar biometrics to safeguard against such fraudulent activities.
“Use locking feature in Aadhaar to prevent misuse of Aadhaar biometric. Lock your biometrics on the official UIDAI website/ App of Aadhaar,” the post read.
Here’s a step-by-step process on how you can lock your Aadhaar biometrics via the m-Aadhaar app or the UIDAI portal. This measure aims to prevent unauthorised access to Aadhaar details.
Go to the UIDAI website:
Click on ‘My Aadhaar’ and select ‘Aadhaar lock/unlock’ under ‘Aadhaar services’.
Enter your Aadhaar number or VID.
Complete the Captcha and send OTP.
Enter the OTP received on your registered mobile number, and click ‘Enable’ after entering the four-digit security code displayed on the screen.
Aadhaar holders can lock their biometrics online through the UIDAI website latest 16-digit Virtual ID (VID).
Once you have your VID, you can unlock your UID by visiting the UIDAI website. Then select the “Unlock” option, enter your latest VID, and security code, and click “Send OTP” or choose “TOTP” and click “Submit”. Your UID will be successfully unlocked