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India Biometric Data Breach Highlights Cybersecurity Risks

Cybersecurity | May 24, 2024

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A recent leak of biometric data in India is a 'stark warning' about the evolving risks that law enforcement bureaus across the world are now facing

Tens of thousands of Indian police officers and applicants have had their personal biometric data compromised, consisting of fingerprints, facial scans, and other sensitive information in what is now the most massive data breach in the country.  Security researcher Jeremiah Fowler discovered close to 500 GB of sensitive data on an exposed server linked to ThoughtGreen Technologies.

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Fowler said the exposed data was critical in nature because biometrics cannot be changed like most other personal information if the data was compromised. More than 284,000 documents on police personnel were among the leaked data, underlining the enormity of the hack.

The risk increased when these cyber criminals began advertising the sale the same biometric data through outlets like Telegram.

ThoughtGreen Technologies has secured the breach of its data and notified law enforcement however, the breach triggered discussions about the adequacy of measures for data protection and the biometric information that is subject to misuse.  As the accumulation of biometric data spreads, these become harsh signals. Risks relating to inadequate data protection are relevant, and such leaks in some nations would have disastrous impacts.

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Takeaways

  • Organizations dealing with biometric information are required to enhance their security measures.
  • The existing regulatory frameworks with regard to sensitive information need to be fortified.
  • Risks from data breaches can be minimized with awareness and proactive measures.

Conclusion

The Indian biometric data comes as a clear sign that the practices in place that guard such information are not strong enough and need improvement. With the rise in biometric data collection around the world, governments and other organizations are encouraged to take strict security measures in an effort to deter such cases and to protect the rights and privacy of people.


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