Just two days after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief RS Sharma shared his Aadhaar details on Twitter, daring anyone to "do any harm to me", his daughter Kavita Sharma, on Monday, 30 July, received a threat mail, warning her of "regretful consequences if she didn't respond".
The email, which was also copied to two journalists working with news organisation The Wire, also claimed that Sharma's Punjab National Bank account was "under imminent threat of being hacked".
Addressing Kavita, the sender asked her to “act wisely”, warning that “any tip-off to law enforcement agencies would be detrimental”.
“By posting a challenge on social media, RS Sharma has turned out to be an embarrassment to the nation and put a bounty on his accounts for hackers,” read the email, adding that all “sensitive files would be released if he does not delete his accounts immediately”.
Showing confidence in the UIDAI, Sharma had, on Saturday, thrown an open challenge on Twitter, by revealing his 12-digit Aadhaar number and asking (more like, challenging) if it made him vulnerable to any security risk.
Soon after, Elliot Alderson, a French security researcher who has exposed Aadhaar vulnerabilities in the past as well as flaws in Patanjali’s Kimbho and Bolo Messenger apps, revealed some of Sharma’s personal data in a series of tweets.
This included his personal address, birth date, email, alternate phone number and PAN number. He then tried explaining to the TRAI chief why it wasn't a good idea to make his Aadhaar number public.
A day later, some hackers deposited Re 1 in his Bank of India account, via BHIM and Paytm apps, and posted screenshots of the same on Twitter. The hackers claimed to have bank numbers and IFSC codes for five of Sharma’s bank accounts including PNB, Bank of India, SVI, Kotak Mahindra and ICICI, reported The Times of India.
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