BEWARE! Fake SMS With Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link Going Viral, May Leak User Data
New Delhi: A malicious SMS has been doing rounds in India over the past few days that has a fake link to an app for coronavirus vaccine registrations. Users must be careful of such messages as they make false claims of free registration for the COVID-19 vaccine. The fake app goes by the name of Vaccine Register, hackers have found out. The SMS started circulating around the same time when the official CoWIN portal faced glitches as a large number of people tried to register. As a result, a lot of users fell prey to the fake link and installed malware on their phones. Also Read – Death Of Covid Patients Due To Oxygen Shortage Criminal Act, Not Less Than Genocide: Allahabad HC
Malware researcher at cybersecurity firm ESET, Lukas Stefanko explained in a series of tweets how the SMS targetted Indian users to download a worm app by luring them to register for the COVID-19 vaccination. “It can spread itself via SMS to victim contacts with a link to download this malware,” he said. Also Read – Shocking! Ambulance Stopped During Covid-19 Times to Allow IPL Convoy, Video Goes Viral | WATCH
The ‘app’ was initially called COVID-19 but was later renamed to ‘Vaccine Register’. It also received an update – a light mode that helps it reach even more devices. Also Read – Karnataka Lockdown Extension: State Govt Mulls Imposing Shutdown For 2 More Weeks After May 12 As COVID Cases Rise.
When a user clicks on the link, he or she receives a pop-up box asking for permission to your phone contacts. Once a user allows it, the worm app may then gain unnecessary permissions and acquire user data, the researcher said.
As a result, users are advised to avoid any such messages that contain unknown links to download apps. Users must note, the COVID-19 vaccine registration is being conducted online on the government portal ‘CoWIN’ – cowin.gov.in – as well as Aarogya Setu and Umang app.
Apart from these, there are a few third-party websites through which one can receive notifications about available time slots for the jab. However, it is advised to follow only official websites to avoid the risk of such malwares.