UIDAI Employee Investigated Over Bogus Aadhaar Account

“The bogus identity used the name Osama bin Laden and featured a blurry photo of the former terrorist leader, who was killed by American special forces in 2011.”

UIDAI Employee Investigated Over Bogus Aadhaar AccountAn employee of the Unique Identification Authority of India is under investigation by police officials for attempting to create a fraudulent identity in Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric ID program.

The bogus identity used the name Osama bin Laden and featured a blurry photo of the former terrorist leader, who was killed by American special forces in 2011. The address entered into the database was Abbottabad, the city in which bin Laden’s compound was housed. While these details are certainly enough to raise alarms, it didn’t help that the account lacked thumbprint and iris biometrics details used for authentication through Aadhaar.

The accused, Saddam Mansuri, reportedly claims innocence, saying that someone else had performed the operation using his credentials.

The case is both disturbing and reassuring with respect to Aadhaar. On the one hand, the fact that officials were able to flag the fraudulent account immediately, thanks in part to Aadhaar’s use of biometrics, points to the program’s inherent security. At the same time, if someone other than Mansuri was behind the scheme, it suggests that a UIDAI agent’s credentials have been compromised in such a way as to allow deep access into the back end of the Aadhaar program.

Sources: Indian Express, The Times of India, International Business Times

May 15, 2017 – by Alex Perala