Recently, the police have arrested 10 men involved in counterfeiting of Aadhar cards. Many sophisticated devices have been recovered from them including fingerprint scanners, iris scanners, laptops, rubber stamps, Aadhar cards, printing material and GPS devices.
According to the police, this gang has a well-established network and have side-stepped the extensive security mechanisms set by the Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI, the card issuing authority.
The arrests have been made following the leads in the past few months about a gang spread across Uttar Pradesh involved in making fake Aadhaar cards using tampered client applications and help of unauthorised individuals at enrolment agencies. The main accused Saurabh Singh belongs to Kanpur.
The gang had adopted a mechanism which was very complex and involved cloning finger prints of UIDAI centre operators to log on to the Aadhaar website and carry out fake enrolments.
The police have also found the Information Security Policy mandated by the UIDAI being broken at many levels, including registrars, enrolment agencies, supervisors, verifiers and operators.
They further added that following this incident, the entire Aadhaar enrolment process will be audited for security.
Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric ID card program was originally set-up to streamline the country’s welfare benefit payments and reduce wastage. It ascribes unique numbers after recording fingerprints and iris scans of each person.
More than 100 crore Indians have already signed up for Aadhaar cards which have been made compulsory for purposes like filing tax returns, owning a cell phone connection etc.
While the Aadhar cards are extensively being used to promote digital transactions, incidents like these raise a question mark. The news comes as a shock that when a country’s highest identification proof can be counterfeited, what else is remaining?