Amidst reports of a serious data breach regarding the leakage of its customer details, Airtel India today has denied such reports.

The alleged breach involved the personal details of over 37.5 crore Indian customers, which was reported to have been put online for sale.

The company's official statement on X strongly denied the claims, adding, " This is nothing short of a desperate attempt to tarnish Airtel's reputation by vested interests."

Airtel denies data breach
Official Statement of Bharti Airtel denying the data breachAirtel Official X handle

The alleged leak was reported by 'Dark Web Informer', an 'X' handle which tracks posts on the dark web. According to the report, a hacker with the alias 'xenZen' made an attempt to sell personal information of Airtel customers like mobile numbers, Aadhaar IDsand email IDs, amongst others.

It was reported that these details were being sold at $50,000 with the sum to be paid in cryptocurrency. It was claimed that the breach had taken place in June 2024.

In its response to this potential breach, Airtel maintained, "We have done a thorough investigation and can confirm that there has been no breach whatsoever from Airtel systems."

Airtel India had faced a similar situation in 2021, where it was claimed that details of over 25 lakh Airtel subscribers had been uploaded on the website of a threat actor, 'Red Rabbit Team'. In that instance again, Airtel had firmly denied the allegations.

There have been increasing concerns, claims and reports on alleged breaches and lapses in data security and the protection of customer information, with many Indian telecom companies, including government-owned BSNL, facing these issues.

The potential adverse impact of proved breaches to customer privacy, data protection and cybersecurity is serious; with issues of fraud, identity theft and even national security being some of the most significant.