Reshmi AR

Seva Mitra, TDP's app developed by Hyderabad based IT Grids India Pvt Ltd was no ordinary software. It had troves of personal information of the most sensitive nature including Aadhaar Card numbers, voter ID, Address, name, religion, caste and benefits gained from welfare schemes of individuals covering the entire state of Andhra Pradesh. BlueFrog Mobile Technologies, a Vizag based company associated with the government of AP, passed this highly sensitive to the Madhapur based company responsible for developing this app. Seva Mitra now has made this personal information vulnerable to hackers putting the citizens of the state at grave risk.

The fact of the matter is that IT Grids India Pvt Ltd has indulged in a serious crime with respect to breach of personal data. If an individual's bank account details are hacked as they happen to be in public domain now, this company would become accountable as also all the officials and government higher ups behind this entire data breach scam.

What this small Hyderabad based IT company has done is to access huge volumes of data from Blue Frog as also the state government website since it was responsible for developing TDP's Seva Mitra. Experts and Technical Analysts say that deleted data could be retrieved and cybercrime officials of Telangana Police are hot on the trail of these cyber thieves. In the guise of developing an app for its party, the TDP government gave access to tonnes of private data of AP citizens. Apart from many of the details already listed here, the Seva Mitra app also spells out party preferences of individuals and breaks it down to the micro level of each constituency.

Technical experts remarked that even in the massive Census operation undertaken once in ten years, such micro-level data acquisition has never been possible. Cybercrime police officials have repeatedly pointed to the imminent threat of such information falling into the hands of hackers, Seva Mitra has now made citizens of AP more vulnerable on this count, they pointed out. All this has been a part of a very elaborate, well thought-out exercise. A smart pulse survey was first conducted to create the State Resident Data Hub (SRDH). As a part of this survey, teams equipped with tabs went around gathering information on the socio-economic data of citizens. However, the Supreme Court directed UIDAI to remove all such data. The government then announced that it had destroyed data stored in SRDH. This vital data was passed on to IT Grids to develop Seva Mitra, cybercrime officials say.

Swinging into a damage control mode, It Grids India carried out some modifications, upgrading the app on February 27, deleting some key data from the app. This was after the Telangana Police questioned the director of IT Grids Ashok Dakavaram on February 21. It is learnt that the app had been upgraded to comply with the IT Act with respect to voter data and that of citizens. Since then Ashok Dakavaram has gone absconding and is said to be hiding in Amaravati or Guntur. Reports suggested that he was being briefed by legal experts and police officials on how to face a probe into the functioning of his company by Cyberabad police.

Also Read: TDP Seva Mitra Software Could Throw Up More Surprises On Data Breach