Indian digital payments firm MobiKwik denies data breach amid social media backlash

Photo: Caspar Camille Rubin / Unsplash

Gurugram-based digital payments firm MobiKwik denied it has suffered a data breach, despite several social media users finding their data on a massive data dump on the dark web, with the date on those entries matching the day they opened an account with the company.

Its denials came a day after unknown actors claimed they were selling Mobikwik’s data on the dark web and that this included 99 million mail IDs and phone numbers, data of 40 million saved debit and credit cards as well as know-your-customer (KYC) logs of 3.5 million users.

While the claims by purported hackers surfaced weeks ago, a searchable database of this data surfaced over the weekend, and several users posted on Twitter and other social media platforms on Tuesday that they were able to key in their mobile numbers and find their user data, including sensitive information such as credit card details, on the database. Many users pointed out that the date of entry in the database matched the day they received an onboarding email from Mobikwik.

The company said it was investigating the matter.

“Some users have reported that their data is visible on the dark web. While we are investigating this, it is entirely possible that any user could have uploaded her/ his information on multiple platforms. Hence, it is incorrect to suggest that the data available on the dark web has been accessed from MobiKwik or any identified source,” said MobiKwik in a blogpost on Tuesday.

MobiKwik also added that when the matter was first reported, last month, it undertook a thorough investigation with the help of external security experts and did not find any evidence of a breach.

The data dump also includes images of merchants, PAN cards as well as other identity proofs, used by the company for digital KYC purposes.

The alleged leak comes as a setback for the company that is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares in September this year. It was also aiming to raise $200-250 million as pre-IPO corpus, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.