NEET data breach: student details leaked online

The website leaked data of lakhs of NEET candidates

In what is seen as yet another massive data breach, a website came up offering phone numbers, email IDs and addresses of students who took the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) this year.

The domain http://neetdata.com, however, was found suspended on Friday after some news portals ran stories about it selling NEET-2018 candidates' data for Rs 2 lakh to "interested buyers".

A little over 13 lakh students appeared for NEET this year. The website, however, offered on sale the data of only 2.4 lakh candidates.

A state-wise data of candidates was available on the website which included those from Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.

According to thewire.com, the purported data broker site, on logging to it, opened right away with its business proposition: “Many consultants across India trust us for their database needs. Our database prices will be on the higher prices, no doubt. But YES, because of that reason, limited clients will have access to our database and that gives scope to have good conversions.”

The information available on the website was “exhaustive” as it has the student's name, NEET score, ranking, complete address, date of birth, mobile number and email ID, according to the news portal.

It also reportedly offered “interested buyers” a chance to verify whether the data was genuine or not, as well as a free sample.

It was not clear if the website sold students' data to anyone as the domain was suspended, leaving no scope to contact its owner.

According to whois.com, a domain name look-up service widely used for querying databases that store registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, http://neetdata.com was created on May 12, 2016, and updated just two days ago on July 18, 2018.

Over the last three years, India has witnessed a wave of data privacy breaches and other internet security threats.

The Union government has proposed a law for data protection and constituted a committee of experts under Justice Srikrishna to deliberate on a data protection framework for India. The committee is yet to submit its report to the government.

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