It was a waste of my time: Trai chief on his Aadhaar dare to hackers


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma — who accepted the dare on Twitter to make his Aadhaar number public and then challenged hackers to show how they could harm him due to this — says he hopes this would put an end to the scaremongering so that the common people could benefit from the technology and go about their lives in peace. “Would it be too much to expect an honest admission of these facts from the so-called hackers or critics of Aadhaar?” Sharma wrote in an article in The Indian Express.
“One interesting hack was to deposit one rupee in my account through the marvel of a system called UPI, which has been built by our country to enable financial inclusion on the scale we need. The world is in awe of this technology. But if you define crediting a rupee to an account as hacking, well more people might be happy to be hacked. In the last two days, there have been hundreds of attempts at false authentication from UIDAI servers and not even a single one of them has succeeded. Thus far I have not lost the challenge and I’m very confident that I will not. Yes, some distress may be caused to me by the concerted effort of so many people. However, for that Aadhaar is not to blame,” he wrote. Sharma, former UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) director general, has been an ardent supporter of the Aadhaar programme, vouching for the safety of the system, and dispelling privacy concerns over Aadhaar even during his current tenure as Trai chief. While many on Twitter claimed victory over ‘leaking’ Sharma’s personal details post the challenge, the Trai chief asserted through multiple tweets and replies that the challenge had never been about phone numbers and other information but for causing harm using knowledge of his Aadhaar number. “The truth is that people are proving their identity today through the Aadhaar online platform. This is empowering millions of people who get subsidies into their account or obtain other benefits. (People are also providing a copy of their Aadhaar cards to various service providers, though this is neither required nor desirable.),” Sharma wrote in the article. On Sunday, ethical hackers — including Elliot Alderson, Pushpendra Singh, Kanishk Sajnani, Anivar Arvind, and Karan Saini — pointed out that nearly 14 items .