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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Tech news site ZDNet said on Sunday it stood by its report that identified a security vulnerability in data-linked to Aadhaar – India’s national identity card project, after a semi-government agency that manages the database sought to discredit the report.
ZDNet reported here that a data leak on a system run by a state-owned utility company could allow access to private information of holders of the biometric “Aadhaar” ID cards, exposing their names, their unique 12-digit identity numbers, and their bank details.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which manages the Aadhaar program, said “there is no truth in this story,” in a statement late on Saturday.
ZDNet’s global editor-in-chief Larry Dignan said in an email to Reuters on Sunday the publication stood by its report. Dignan said they spent weeks compiling evidence and verifying facts.
“We spent weeks reaching out to the Indian authorities, specifically UIDAI, to responsibly disclose the security issue, and we heard nothing back — and no action was taken until after we published our story,” said Dignan.
UIDAI sought to downplay the report stating that even if the claims in the story were true, it would raise security concerns with the database of the utility company and not with the security of UIDAI’s Aadhaar database. UIDAI said it is “contemplating legal action against ZDNet”.
Multiple researchers and journalists, who have identified loopholes in India’s massive national identity card project, say they have been harassed here by some government agencies and slapped with criminal cases because of their work.
Aadhaar is a biometric identification card that is becoming integral to the digitisation of India’s economy, with over 1.1 billion users it is the world’s largest such database.
Indians have been asked to furnish their Aadhaar numbers for a host of transactions including accessing bank accounts, paying taxes, receiving subsidies, acquiring a mobile number, settling a property deal and registering a marriage.
The government’s demands for Aadhaar linkage for multiple services is currently being challenged here in India’s Supreme Court.
At the same time, security researchers and journalists have highlighted multiple vulnerabilities and data leaks tied to the program. UIDAI has sought to downplay the reports and last week it said the biometric data was safe from hacking as the storage facility was not connected to the internet.
Reporting by Malini Menon; Writing by Malini Menon and Krishna N. Das; Editing by Andrew Bolton, Euan Rocha and David Evans
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British royal Prince Harry has reportedly struck up a romance with actress Meghan Markle.
The rumored couple is said to have met in Toronto, Canada in May 2016, when Harry was visiting the city, where Meghan’s TV drama Suits is filmed, to promote the 2017 Invictus Games.
According to Britain’s The Sunday Express, the pair has been taking things slowly, but Harry is “besotted” with his new lady.
“He’s happier than he’s been for many years,” a source says. “They are taking each week as it comes and just enjoying each other’s company but it’s fair to say that they love seeing each other and there’s a definite chemistry between them.
“Harry has been desperate to keep the relationship quiet because he doesn’t want to scare Meghan off. He knows things will change when their romance is public knowledge but he also knows he can’t keep it a secret for long.”
The insider adds, “It’s too early to say if the relationship will lead to anything long-term but who knows? At the moment, they are just taking it a step at a time and seeing how things develop.”
A spokesperson for royal residence Kensington Palace has declined to address the reports, stating they “would not comment on private matters”, while a representative for Meghan has yet to respond to requests for comment.
The actress, who also runs her own lifestyle blog, visited Harry’s native London over the summer, sharing snaps of her travels on Instagram. While there was no mention of the Prince in her posts, eagle-eyed fans noticed the 35-year-old has been wearing a beaded bracelet similar to one Harry has been spotted wearing in recent months, suggesting it was a gift from her new man.
The news of the reported romance emerges months after the Prince, 32, was linked to singer Ellie Goulding and actress Jenna Coleman, who both dismissed claims of a relationship, while Los Angeles native Meghan, 35, was previously married to talent manager Trevor Engelson, until their separation in 2013.
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Google’s OnHub router was met with decent reception (heh), but a new report by Android Police indicates the company is looking to announce a new router alongside its upcoming probably-called-Pixel phones on October 4. It will simply be called Google Wi-Fi. The router will almost certainly include some of the OnhHub’s ‘smart’ features for simplifying connections and optimizing reception (although whether the OnHub really performed any better than similarly prices routers is questionable). But one big advantage over OnHub is that you will be able link multiple routers to create a larger, stronger Wi-Fi network. Android Police also suggests it will…
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