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Personal info of 3.5 million Indian travelers exposed in Covid-19 e-pass leak


February 02, 2024

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Personal info of 3.5 million Indian travelers exposed in Covid-19 e-pass leak

A massive database with the personal information of 3.5 million Indian travelers was recently leaked online, according to researchers at Cybernews.

The team that stumbled upon the unprotected database during a routine investigation said the records contained sensitive details linked to citizens of India’s southernmost state, Tamil Nadu, who applied for the Covid-19 mandatory e-pass between 2020 and 2021.

The mandatory e-registration came into effect April 26, 2021, during the peak of the pandemic, and the researchers warn that individuals may be still at risk of identity-theft crimes.

The sheer scale of the exposure underscores the urgency for robust cybersecurity measures and highlights the potential risks associated with the mishandling of sensitive personal data in the context of government-issued passes,” Cybernews investigators explained.

Leaked data includes:

· Names and gender

· Passport number or photocopies of passports

· Email addresses and mobile numbers

· Travel details or reason for traveling

· Vehicle numbers

Source: Cybernews

The exposed records were linked to an open S3 bucket belonging to a third-party service provider. The researchers said they immediately notified the owners of the unprotected database, who quickly secured it to prevent further access.

Although the investigators could not confirm whether any malicious entities also have access to the database, users should monitor online accounts and keep an eye out for phishing attempts that leverage exposed information.

If your passport or ID information has been stolen or exposed in a breach, immediately report it to your local authorities.

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Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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