Hyderabad: Security researchers have found that sensitive data of about two crore people in Andhra Pradesh was made available unwittingly by the government itself through its web portals.
This expose of the vulnerability of data security was exposed on Tuesday on the micro-blogging platform Twitter by a security researcher Srinivas Kodali, who uses the handle @digitaldutta. He posted several screenshots of Andhra Pradesh government websites which contained details of school dropouts, pregnant women with details of their expected delivery dates, the geo-tagged location of voters with caste details.
However, he took the precaution of redacting the Aadhaar details of people on the screenshots. Hours after the expose, the Andhra Pradesh government seemed to have acted and removed the columns containing Aadhaar details and phone numbers. Some servers were also closed down.
Kodali found fault with the real-time dashboard of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister saying the vulnerabilities which made data easily available to anyone turned Andhra Pradesh into a ‘true digital nightmare’.
Interestingly, the expose comes a few days after a very serious data leak in Singapore wherein personal health information details of over 1.6 million citizens of Singapore were stolen by hackers. These details of National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) project reportedly contained the health details of even the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Singapore has been the role model for Andhra Pradesh in many fields and the Telugu State emulates many government strategies of the island nation. While Singapore was reported to have suspended the NEHR project after the data theft, it remains to be seen what steps would be initiated by the Andhra Pradesh government to protect citizen’s data.