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Airtel Refutes Alleged Data Breach Claims, Says ‘Desperate Attempt to Tarnish’ Reputation

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Bharti Airtel has issued a statement refuting the claims of data breach on its servers. The telecom operator said that it did not find any evidence of a breach after a thorough investigation. It further claimed that the allegation by the threat actor was a “desperate” attempt to tarnish the brand’s reputation. Earlier, multiple reports claimed that the telecom operator suffered a major data breach where the sensitive information of 375 million Airtel customers was compromised and was being sold on the dark web.

Airtel Refutes Claims of Data Breach

In a statement, Airtel stated, “There has been an ongoing report alleging that Airtel customer data has been compromised. This is nothing short of a desperate attempt to tarnish Airtel’s reputation by vested interests. We have done a thorough investigation and can confirm that there has been no breach whatsoever from Airtel systems.”

The statement comes a day after several unverified reports claimed that a threat actor identified as ‘xenZen’ on dark web forums. X (formerly known as Twitter) user Nicolas Krassas, whose LinkedIn profile suggests he works at Germany-based multinational company Henkel AG as the Head of Threat and Vulnerability Management, posted a screenshot from a dark web forum that shows a post by the threat actor.

Airtel India Complete Customers DB Leak – 375 million customers

— Nicolas Krassas (@Dinosn) July 4, 2024

In the screenshot, xenZen alleges breaching Airtel’s database and gaining access to customer’s data such as phone, email, address, Aadhaar, and more. The threat actor said the data, which was allegedly updated till June 2024, was up for sale. The person behind the account sought $50,000 (roughly Rs. 4,174,000) for the alleged data.

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However, no follow-up posts, screenshots, or sample data have surfaced that confirm the threat actor’s claims even 24 hours after the said attack. Notably, scammers on the dark web often post sensational data breach posts on forums to swindle others into paying. Once the payment is made, they either share fraudulent data or entirely vanish from the platform. This could be one of those instances, however, there is no way of proving it.

For now, Airtel has reassured customers that their data is secured and no such data breach has occurred.

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