Hackers deposit Re 1 in TRAI chief’s account

New Delhi: After the mobile number and PAN details of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief RS Sharma were leaked in public, hackers are now claiming to have deposited Re 1 in the bank account of the TRAI chief to prove their claims of having access to Sharma’s bank account, PAN and other personal details.

This trend began after the TRAI chief had thrown a challenge to Twitter users by sharing his Aadhaar number on the microblogging site.

Some users also shared screenshots of sending Re 1 to Sharma through payments apps like BHIM, Paytm, which uses Aadhaar-Enabled Payment Service (AEPS) and posted transaction IDs on Twitter.

Ethical hacker Elliot Alderson has claimed to have cracked bank account, PAN and other personal details of RS Sharma. In the screenshots of the same, he wrote a message to Sharma which read, “I stop here, I hope you will understand why making your #Aadhaar number public is not a good idea.”

Other ethical hackers like Pushpendra Singh, Kanishk Sajnani, Anivar Arvind, and Karan Saini have also got Sharma’s personal details including his mobile numbers, residential address, date of birth, PAN number, voter ID number, telecom operator, phone model, and Air India frequent flyer ID, which are linked to his Aadhaar, read a TOI report.

They claimed to have his bank account number and IFSC code for five other accounts as well — in PNB, Bank of India, SBI (joint account), Kotak Mahindra and ICICI Bank. Anivar Aravind and a few others have also sent Re 1 to his Bank of India account via AEPS. Twitter users cautioned the Trai chief that the ability to send money to him without his consent could expose him to blackmail, laundering and other dangers.

The Twitter user further batted for a “better engineered” government system saying, “Just like pay to Aadhaar in BHIM , you can donate to his Bank account  without his consent using #UPI as well . You can even use @TezbyGoogle .  #DonateToRSS /#GiveToRamSewak to build better engineered Govt systems.

“See what one rupee revealed. His Aadhaar mapped to an account is in Bank of India . (BKID is Bank of India’s short code),” he tweeted.

Responding to this, another Twitter user, Arjun SR, referred to it as “bribe without consent”. He wrote: “So basically he accepted a bribe even without his own consent. Let’s file a case against him for accepting bribe.”

While much of the information that was dug out may already be in the public domain, the TRAI official did not verify whether the details pertaining to his PAN were indeed correct.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Sunday said, Sharma’s personal details shared on Twitter were not accessed from the Aadhaar database, a day after hackers took on his challenge to access his private information by using his Aadhaar ID.

In a statement released on the microblogging site, UIDAI said, “Aadhaar database is fully safe and secure and no such information about Mr Sharma has been fetched from UIDAI’s severs or Aadhaar database. This is merely cheap publicity by these unscrupulous elements who try to attract attention by creating such fake news.”