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COVID-19 vaccine registration: BEWARE! These FAKE CoWin vaccine apps could steal your contacts, install malicious app on smartphones

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COVID-19 vaccine registration: BEWARE! These FAKE CoWin vaccine apps could steal your contacts, install malicious app on smartphones

COVID-19 vaccine registration: ALERT! if you are also planning to register yourselves for vaccination, read this news carefully. As millions of people have been registering themselves for COVID-19 vaccination, fraudsters and hackers have found new ways to trap them.

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Raising an alarm against such malicious elements, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issued a fresh advisory to warn citizens about scammy CoWin vaccine registration apps. These fake apps are gaining popularity from viral SMS. In its officially advisory, CERT-In said that the SMS message carries a link that installs the malicious app on Android-based devices, the Zee Media Bureau reported.

“The app essentially spreads itself via SMS to victims’ contacts. The app also gains unnecessary permissions that attackers could leverage to acquire user data such as contact list,” CERT-In said.  Scammers are using multiple variants of SMSs to trap citizens into their fishy net.

Usually, the SMS advises receivers to download and install any of the five apps on their smartphone. The apps are downloaded as APK files so that scammers can easily inject malware into their smartphones. The main purpose of these fishy apps could be to steal passwords or financial information. CERT-In urged Indians to remain “beware about phishing and fake domains, emails, text messages and phone calls which falsely claim covid vaccine registrations.”

Currently, the official portal where one can book Covid-19 vaccine slots is the CoWin portal, which can be accessed at cowin.gov.in. Indians can also the Aarogya Setu app to access cowin.gov.in to their vaccine appointment, the report said.

As per the report, several other websites offer information about the vaccination drive or alert their users about free vaccination slots nearby them from time to time. However, none of the apps will urge its users to download malicious apps.

Meanwhile, India on Friday witnessed a slight decline in new cases of coronavirus infections in the country with 3,43,144 people testing positive in the last 24 hours.

According to the data released by the Union Health Ministry on Friday, India reported 3,43,144 new COVID-19 cases, 3,44,776 discharges and a total of 4,000 deaths in the last 24 hours. The number of new cases stood at 3,62,727 on Thursday morning.

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