Airtel India denies 370 million user data breach

Airtel, also known as Bharti Airtel, has denied reports of a data breach following speculation from various media outlets. The telecom giant stated that preliminary investigations have shown claims made by certain threat actors to be unfounded and baseless.

Earlier, there were reports circulating in the Indian media suggesting that Airtel had fallen victim to a cyber attack, allegedly resulting in a significant data breach. A hacker known as “XenZen” purportedly announced on the dark web that they possessed a dataset containing the personal information of approximately 370 million users, including phone numbers, names, physical addresses, email IDs, and Aadhaar numbers. A smaller subset of about 10 million user records was reportedly available for sale at a price of $50,000.

Despite the Chinese hacker’s claims, Airtel has firmly refuted these allegations, dismissing them as false statements aimed at gaining attention on social media platforms. The company, which ranks as the second-largest telecom operator in India after Jio-Reliance, intends to issue an official press statement soon to clarify the situation.

In the interim, Airtel has assured its customers via Twitter that their user information remains secure and intact, emphasizing ongoing investigations to provide further reassurance.

Concerned users, both postpaid and prepaid, have inundated Airtel’s customer care services with inquiries about the alleged breach. Similarly, users utilizing the AI-powered customer support through the app have also expressed anxieties about the security of their personal data and its protection measures. However, the application’s current capabilities are limited in addressing such specific concerns.

The potential repercussions of a data leak, including the exposure of personal details such as phone numbers, email IDs, and Aadhaar numbers (similar to Social Security Numbers in the US), could lead to various cyber threats. These include phishing attacks, malware infections, and in severe cases, extortion attempts through calls and messages.

Overall, Airtel continues to investigate the matter diligently while assuring its customers of the security of their personal information.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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