Monday, July 22, 2024

BSNL Data Breach Exposes Millions of Users to Fraud and Security Risks

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India’s state-owned telecommunications provider, has suffered a major data breach orchestrated by a threat actor known as “kiberphant0m”.

The cyberattack has compromised over 278GB of sensitive data, putting millions of users at risk of SIM card cloning, identity theft, and financial fraud.

According to a report by digital risk management firm Athentian Tech, the compromised data includes international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) numbers, SIM card details, home location register (HLR) data, and critical security keys.

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This extensive operational data could enable sophisticated attacks targeting not only BSNL but also interconnected systems and networks, posing significant national security risks.

Kanishk Gaur, CEO of Athentian Tech, told The Economic Times that the compromised data is being sold on the dark web for $5,000. Gaur emphasized the complexity and critical nature of the breached data, which goes beyond typical user information and targets the core of BSNL’s operational systems.

This high price tag underscores the data’s value due to its sensitive nature and broad scope, surpassing typical user information and targeting BSNL’s core operations.

This incident marks the second data breach BSNL has experienced in the past six months. In December 2023, a threat actor known as “Perell” released a dataset containing 32,000 lines of sensitive information about BSNL’s fibre and landline users. 

Potential risks include:

  1. SIM cloning and identity theft: Attackers can create duplicate SIM cards to intercept communications, access bank accounts, and commit fraud.
  2. Financial losses: Bypassing security measures on financial accounts could lead to significant user losses.
  3. Service disruptions: Unauthorized access to telecom operations may cause outages and degrade performance.
  4. National security threats: The breach could undermine infrastructure stability and set a precedent for attacks on critical systems.

Experts urge BSNL to promptly investigate and contain the breach, secure network endpoints, audit access logs, and implement enhanced security measures.

Users are advised to monitor accounts for unusual activity, enable two-factor authentication, and remain vigilant against phishing and social engineering attacks.

This incident marks the second data breach for BSNL within six months, raising serious concerns about the company’s data security practices and the potential consequences for its users and national security.

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Guru baran
Guru baran
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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