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Uncategorized - October 7, 2023

NID info of people under threat

Smartcard info available in telegram channel!

Mahfuja Mukul: Smart National Identity Card (NID) information of people of Bangladesh is available in a Telegram channel. All the personal information of a person comes out by giving NID number and date of birth.
In the same way that certain government and private organizations get NID information from the Election Commission (EC) to provide various services including selling SIMs, opening bank accounts, anyone is getting personal information of people in that Telegram channel. Telegram is an internet-based communication medium.
The work is being done through a special software (bot). However, it is not yet known who is running the Telegram channel. Prior to this, last July, the data of lakhsof people was leaked from the Registrar General’s office, birth and death register. After two and a half months, the incident of smart card information ‘behate’ came to the fore.
NID’s database was not hacked. He did not see any information being available on the Telegram channel.
Director General of Election Commission’s NID wing AKM Humayun Kabir sent the name of the Telegram channel to three IT experts. They verified and told that the bot was created with leaked personal information. There is no opportunity to display information directly from NID database (server) in Telegram channel.
An official of the relevant branch of the Election Commission told Daily Industry on condition of anonymity that many government institutions have created separate portals with information from the EC. They have weaknesses. People’s personal information can be leaked from their portal. This has happened before.
Citizens need to provide NID number and date of birth to verify information from EC database. Similarly, information is available from Telegram channel with NID number and date of birth. The NID information of 10 people was verified on that channel, out of which 8 were 10-digit smart NID cards.
When contacted, AKM Humayun Kabir, Director General of Election Commission’s NID branch, told that the database of NID was not hacked on Wednesday evening. He did not see any information being available on the Telegram channel.
However, NID’s system manager Ashraf Hossain told Daily Industry that they came to know about this last Tuesday. 174 institutions now receive information from the EC. They identified that the work was done through one of these institutions. Appropriate action is being taken in this regard. However, he refused to reveal the name of the institution.
The NID database held by the Election Commission has the personal information of about 12 crore citizens. According to EC sources, around 58 million smart cards have been distributed till February 15.
Citizens need to provide NID number and date of birth to verify information from EC database. Similarly, information is available from Telegram channel with NID number and date of birth. The NID information of 10 people was verified on that channel, out of which 8 were 10-digit smart NID cards. With these numbers, the details of NID of the concerned person are obtained.
A few days ago, the police came to my house and said, “Criminals are committing various crimes with the SIM registered in my name.” He said, “Information was taken from many people in our village in this way.
Both cards were 13 digits (paper NID). After giving these, it was suggested to give 10-digit marks. The information extracted includes name, father, mother, spouse, date of birth, religion, gender, mobile phone number (if provided), current address and permanent address and photograph, which was collected while issuing the National Identity Card.
Section 26 of the new Cyber Security Act states that anyone who unlawfully collects, sells, possesses, supplies or uses identity information of a person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, a fine not exceeding Tk 5 lakh or both. Identity information means name, photograph, address, date of birth, mother’s name, father’s name, signature, national identity card, fingerprint etc.
After receiving the personal information of the people in Telegram, the matter was contacted yesterday evening with a cyber security officer of the government’s information and communication technology department. He claimed that the problem has been solved.
However, after talking to the official, it can be seen that the smart NID and date of birth of some people in the Telegram channel, personal information is coming out as before.
The information extracted includes name, father, mother, spouse, date of birth, religion, gender, mobile phone number (if provided), current address and permanent address and photograph, which was collected while issuing the National Identity Card.
The government is reportedly trying to shut down the Telegram channel.
Mohammad Saiful Alam Khan, director of project BGD e-Gov Cert, the ICT department that deals with cyber security in the government, said that the NID authorities have been informed about such channels on Telegram and a letter has been sent to BTRC to close the channel.
Telegram is an Internet-based communications services company registered in the British Virgin Islands known as a tax haven. It was founded by Russian-born Nikolai Durov and Pavel Durov. Telegram is very popular in Russia and neighboring countries.
How worrying information?
Personal information refers to information that can be used to identify a person. Such information is used for identity theft. Using one’s personal information to create a false identity can lead to fraud.

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