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Hackers Expose Contact and KYC Details of Upstox Clients

 

Upstox, India's second-biggest broking firm in terms of the number of active customers, disclosed that its databases, including contact details and know-your-customer (KYC) details, may have been breached. The Delhi-based discount brokerage firm, anyway thought that it has improved its security systems at its servers manifold recently, on the suggestions of a global cyber-security firm against a suspected data breach. 

The organization has guaranteed the customers that their funds and securities are protected and remain safe. Sources propose that Upstox has endured a huge information breach that has uncovered some significant information like Aadhaar, PAN, bank account numbers, canceled cheques, signatures, and photographs apart from other personally identifiable information like passport, mobile numbers, and email addresses.

“On receipt of e-mails claiming unauthorized access into our database, we have appointed a leading international cyber-security firm to investigate possibilities of breach of some KYC data stored in third-party data warehouse systems. This morning, hackers put up a sample of our data on the dark web,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. 

The spokesperson added that as a proactive measure, the organization has started numerous security upgrades, especially at the third-party warehouses, continuous 24x7 monitoring, and additional ring-fencing of its network. 

“As a matter of abundant caution, we have also initiated a secure password reset via OTP for all Upstox users. Upstox takes customer security extremely seriously. Funds and securities of all Upstox customers are protected and remain safe. We have also duly reported this incident to the relevant authorities,” the spokesperson said. The spokesperson further said that at this point, “We don't know with certainty the number of customers whose data has been exposed.” 

Upstox, upheld by investors like Tiger Global and Ratan Tata, has more than 3,000,000 clients. In an announcement note on the organization site, Upstox co-founder and CEO Ravi Kumar said funds and securities of customers are protected and remain safe. 

“Funds can only be moved to your linked bank accounts and your securities are held with the relevant depositories. As a matter of abundant caution, we have also initiated a secure password reset via OTP. Through this time, we have also strongly fortified our systems to the highest standards,” he said.

Data Leak of 10cr Users: ‘The Largest KYC Data Leak in History’

 

According to cybersecurity researcher Rajshekahar Rajaharia, mobile payment app Mobikwik came under attack after the data of 10 crores of its users was posted for sale on a hacker website on the dark web. The alleged data breach was conducted by a group of hackers known as the ‘Ninja Storm,' who have also been selling the ‘leaked' details online since March 26. 

The data is being sold for 1.5 Bitcoins, which is nearly Rs 63 lakhs, as per a post by the hacker community. Ever since tens of thousands of people have taken to Twitter to share screenshots of their personal information being exposed. It is the ‘largest KYC data leak in history,' according to cybersecurity researcher Elliot Laderson. 

Personal information of merchants who obtained loans via Mobikwik is also said to be available for purchase in exchange for bitcoins. Over 4 crore Mobikwik customers' card details and hashes are reportedly included in the leak. 

The Gurugram-based fintech firm has maintained a denial of its involvement in the breach, accusing the researchers who made the infringement public of being "media-crazed" and offering "concocted files" as evidence. "We thoroughly investigated and did not find any security lapses. Our user and company data are completely safe and secure," said a spokesperson from Mobikwik. 

On January 20, a hacker named 'Jordan Daven' took over 8 terabytes (TB) of private user data from Mobikwik's main server and posted it on dark-web websites, according to Rajaharia. “Regular keys and passwords should have been changed and logs should have been monitored to prevent this kind of security compromise,” he said. 

Furthermore, in February, Rajaharia claimed that a hacker was selling Mobikwik user data, including PAN card numbers, Aadhar numbers, debit/credit card numbers, phone numbers, and other personally identifiable information that is typically exchanged mostly during Know Your Customer (KYC) process. 

To complicate things, Mobikwik claims that its technology has not been hacked. In a statement, it said, “Some media-crazed so-called security researchers have repeatedly attempted to present concocted files wasting precious time of our organization as well as members of the media.“ 

It isn't the first time Mobikwik has been the target of a cyber-attack. The business witnessed another information security incident in 2010. 

According to reports, the Reserve Bank of India is keeping an eye on such security breaches and has enacted many new regulations, along with the upcoming payment aggregator and payment gateway guidelines, that will limit customer data exposure to a few databases of approved gateways.