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CoWIN App Hacking Reports Rise In Indore; Madhya Pradesh Police Launches Probe

Cyber Security Expert Shobhit Chaturvedi said it is possible that hackers have gained unauthorised access to Co-WIN site & they are booking slots unethically

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Amid concerns of the COVID-19 vaccine registration site getting hacked, the Indore police have launched an inquiry in the matter after the district administration was alerted in this regard by District Immunisation Officer (DIO), Praveen Jaya.

“People from age group 18-44 need to register themselves first for their vaccination. The portals for that are open only after my permission and nobody besides me knows the timing. But it has been seen that the slots are get filled within a minute of opening up. The situation remains the same even in the wee hours,” Jadiya said.

“Some unidentified person also shared the information about the opening of slot booking on a social media platform Telegram. This has given rise to suspicions that the sites get hacked as soon as being opened up for registration for the general public. I have informed the District Collector Manish Singh and Deputy Inspector General of Police Manish Kapoor,” Jadiya added.

While there was no written complaint regarding this either by Collector Manish Singh or by anyone else, an investigation is underway into this matter, the DIG said. The cyber-crime cell of the city police is verifying reports that some miscreants have allegedly gained unauthorised access to Co-WIN through unethical means and efforts are on to nab them.

Cyber Security Expert Shobhit Chaturvedi said it is possible that hackers have gained unauthorised access to the Co-WIN website and they are booking slots unethically due to certain loopholes in the site. “A lot of information regarding hacking techniques is available on YouTube as well as Twitter. We were trying to resolve this issue when we realised that a complaint has been launched in this regard,” he told Republic TV.

'Miscreants tampering with slot booking options'

According to Chaturvedi, Aarogya Setu is a very strong-built application and is also certified. However, there is a possibility of hacking with the use of API due to certain loopholes in the application.

“I have noticed that there has been an issue in slot booking options. The paid options are available but the free ones are being hacked by miscreants. While it is possible to hack the site, they can also be traced by the police and end up in trouble as it is a criminal act,” the expert said.

Indore IG Harinarayan Mishra said strict action will be taken against those found guilty of misusing the platform under the Information Technology Act.

Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh government has assured that if any hacking incidents on Co-WIN are established, it will be raised with the Centre as it is handled by the Union Government. MP Minister Vishwas Sarang said that the authorities will take action against the guilty and share the details with the Central government to fix the loopholes and prevent such hacking incidents in the future.

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