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Dhaka Tribune

Data leak controversy: Kamal alleges hacking, Palak points to website vulnerability

Researcher Viktor Markopoulos from Bitcrack Cyber Security accidentally discovered the leak on June 27

Update : 09 Jul 2023, 10:03 PM

Regarding the recent controversy involving a data breach exposing the personal information of approximately 50 million Bangladeshis, conflicting statements have been made by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

On Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the government is set to take stern action against the hackers who exposed the personal data of the citizens by hacking into the National Identity (NID) database.

"The law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter to get specific information...Strict action is waiting for the wrongdoers for sure," the minister said at a meeting of the Law and Order Committee, held at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Sunday.

"Our cyber unit is already working to increase security measures to protect the personal information of the citizens as the Ministry of Home Affairs will take over the NID server soon after completing some legal procedures," Kaman said.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak has said no government website has been hacked.

He said the personal information of citizens was exposed because of security vulnerabilities.

Palak was responding to questions from reporters at the inauguration event of the Bangabandhu International Cyber Security Awareness Award 2023 organized by Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority.

Efforts are underway to resolve the issue, the state minister added.

On June 27, Researcher Viktor Markopoulos from Bitcrack Cyber Security accidentally discovered the leak that showed that the personal information of around 50 million Bangladeshis, including their full names, phone numbers, email addresses, and NID numbers, is openly accessible on a government website.

Markopoulos promptly informed the Bangladeshi e-Government Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).

Markopoulos revealed that the leaked data comprises the details of millions of Bangladeshi citizens. Shockingly, anyone can visit the website and find citizens' names, dates of birth, and NID numbers by simply conducting a Google search.

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