EPFO slams Aadhaar data theft reports on social media

There was news doing the rounds earlier on in the day that Aadhaar data of subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been stolen by hackers.

On social media, there was secret letter alegedly written by VP Joy, the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, on March 23 confirming that such a theft has taken place.

However, about two hours ago, the EPFO through its official social media handles put out a statement regarding ‘certain falsehoods being circulated in the social media platform about EPFO data’. The release clarified that such “warnings regarding the vulnerabilities data or software is a routine administrative process based on which services rendered through common service areas have been discontinued effective 22nd March 2018.”

As per the release, there is nothing to be concerned about the news item. “EPFO has been taking all necessary precautions and measures to ensure that no data leakage takes place and it will continue to be vigilant about it in future”. The press release emphasised that the news is related to the common service centres and not about the EPFO software or data centre.

The release says that with regard to the news item being circulated in the social media platform that there has been vulnerabilities in the EPFO data, based on which a letter has been written to the Chief Executive Officer, Common Service Centre (CSC) to plug such vulnerabilities.

No confirmed data leakage has been established or observed so far. As part of the data security and protection, the EPFO has taken advance action by closing the server and host service through Common Service Centres pending vulnerability checks. As per PTI, a senior IT ministry official said that as a vulnerability has been pointed out, the ministry will take action to plug the gaps, in case they exist.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has clarified regarding media report about the alleged data breach from the aadhaar.epfoservices.com that the said website does not belong to UIDAI in any manner whatsoever. This matter does not pertain at all to any Aadhaar data breach from UIDAI servers. There is absolutely no breach into Aadhaar database of UIDAI. Aadhaar data remains safe and secure.

The retirement fund body has been seeding Aadhaar with Universal Account (PF)Numbers of its subscribers to improve delivery of services. It has planned to go paperless by August this year. Thus, all its services would be provided online also.

Courtesy : Economic Times

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