Bengaluru Cyber Crime Police have arrested an engineer named Abhinava Srivastava over allegations that he and his company were accessing Aadhaar data illegally.
Qarth Technologies co-founder Abhinava Srivastava was arrested by Bengaluru’s Central Crime Branch on charges of Aadhaar data theft last week. According to the complaint, Srivastava illegally accessed UIDAI data through an “Aadhaar e-KYC verification” mobile app that he developed himself.
During the initial investigation, police said the app had been downloaded 40,000 times between January and July this year. “We thought there would be not more than 40,000 downloads.We even checked the roots of more than 25,000 downloads and discovered they were downloaded within our country. But now it turns out the app had been downloaded more than 88,000 times. This needs deeper investigation,” senior officer said .
Srivastava gave a six-hour step-by-step demo to sleuths of how he managed to hack into the Aadhaar website.
In his demonstration, Abhinava Srivastava said that he took advantage of the lack of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) in the URL of the Aadhaar website. A recent report claims that Abhinav used shortcuts to access data from various websites that used Aadhaar data.
Investigating officer said, The arrest comes about a week after police received a complaint against Qarth Technologies, a subsidiary of ride-hailing app Ola, from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Deputy Director Ashok Lenin.The accused Srivastava is an MSc from IIT-Kharagpur, where he had studied Industrial Chemistry.He hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, and currently lived in Yeshwanthpura in Bengaluru.In his statement we got know that Srivastava had opened Qarth Technologies in 2012, but it was shut down in 2015 due to lack of funds.Ola acquired it in 2016. Srivastava had developed a mobile app for Aadhaar e-KYC [Know Your Customer] for Android in January 2017, which illegally accessed Aadhaar data.He had earned Rs 40,000 through advertisements from the app before it was shut due to the complaint from UIDAI.In preliminary investigation we got to know that he has accessed Aadhaar data on the NIC servers through the “e-Hospital” application and its server.We have arrested him on Tuesday, August 1, from Koramangala area of Bengaluru and we have recovered a CPU, four laptops, a tablet, four mobile phones, six pen drives and some other accessories,with a total worth of Rs 2.25 lakh from his possession. And he has a keen interest in the Android operating system, its apps and their development. He has developed at least four other apps. Although he is a software development engineer at the Ola office in Koramangala, the ride-hailing company has denied any connection.The company has nothing to do with the arrest nor did it authorise the person to develop the app, Ola spokesperson told media persons he added.
T Suneel Kumar, Bengaluru Police Commissioner said,A complaint against Srivastav and Qarth Technologies was filed on July 26 by Ashok Lenin, the Deputy Director of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India with the High Ground Police station which after registration transferred the case to Cyber Crime investigation cell headed by Addl CP Crime, S Ravi who collected all the contains of complaint and formed a six special team to nab the culprit under the supervision of DCP Crime – 1 Ram Nivas Sepat and DCP Crime – 2 Jinendra Khangavi the six teams took it as a challenging case and based on credible inputs the six teams were successful in nabbing the culprit on 1st august they arrested him in Koramangala from his office.Fearing for his arrest, Srivastav had gone underground but was found by police who then arrested him. During interrogating the accused confessed the crime and during the preliminary enquiry it has come to light the accused is a native of Kanpur Uttar Pradesh and a postgraduate in MSC in industrial chemistry and he is technically highly qualified from IIT Kharagpur and presently he is employed with Ola company and was working as a software developer with the cab agreegator and was earning a whopping salary of Rs.40 lakhs per annum. He said in 2010 he joined IVIZ techno solutions private limited as security researcher and in 2012 he launched a startup company by name ” Qarth Technologies private Ltd which was closed in 2015 due to financial reasons.then
later on he worked as a Software developer in Glow prime technologies V H education private Ltd in 2016 he worked as a software development engineer in ANI technologies and he was working as a software development engineer in Ola head office Koramangala. He even said he had a deep interest in developing Android mobile applications. The accused unauthorizedly accessed to UIDAI data through “e-Hospital application and its server. The accused has been produced before the honourable court and court has sent him to police custody for further interrogation and investigation and a suitable reward will be given to the team and finally Bengaluru Police Commissioner, T Suneel Kumar, has appreciated Addl CP Crime, S Ravi, DCP Crime -1 Ram Niwas Sepat,DCP Crime-2, Jinendra Khangavi, ACP,Dr.K N Venkatesh Prasanna,PIs, as, K Prakash, Ashwath Gowda, Mallikarjun, Yashavantha kumar K N,V L Ramesh, PSIs as, Praveen,WPSI,Vinutha S, ASI Nagaraj with staff as,Dinesh Shetty,Aruna,Venkatesh, H Ramesh,Ranganath,Henry Madan,Nataraj,Mohammed Mansoor Ali,Sathish Kumar,G B Patil,Sadashiva,Puttaswamy,
Ganesha, Nandeesha K, R Vijay Kumar,Gunasheela,Siddappa Y Malli,Siddanna,Shobharani, Nusrathbanu, Anitha,Abhilasha,Sowmya, Harshitha,Shilpa,Nandini and Bhavya with other all staff of Cyber Crime are highly appreciated for the commendable job done they have done he added .