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COVID-19 vaccine registration: Beware of these fake apps

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The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has issued a warning about fake COVID-19 vaccine registration apps. As lot of people are facing difficulties in booking vaccination slots, hackers are taking advantage of this and are offering fake apps for the same. A fake message via SMS is in circulation that falsely claims to offer an app to let users register for COVID-19 vaccine.

CERT-In says the message contains a link, which installs a malicious app on Android devices. “The app gains unnecessary permissions that attackers could leverage to acquire user data such as contact list,” the cited source said.

The screenshots shared by CERT-In suggest that every SMS has a slightly different message, but asks you to download the same malicious app. There are a total of five fake COVID-19 vaccine registration apps, including Covid-19.apk, Vaci__Regis.apk, MyVaccin_v2.apk, Cov-Regis.apk, and Vccin-Apply.apk.

Users are advised to not download any of these fake apps as they could steal passwords and other personal data. “Beware about phishing and fake domains, emails, text messages and phone calls which falsely claim covid vaccine registrations,” it said.

Where can I register for COVID-19 vaccination?

There are only two platforms to register and book for COVID-19 vaccination. You can either visit the government’s CoWIN portal or download the Aarogya Setu app from Google Play Store. People first need to register and then they will get an option to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccine on the same platform.

After completing the registration process, if you are not able to find a COVID-19 vaccination slot, then you can easily get alerts for it. Websites like Under45.in, GetJab.in, and FindSlot.in are keeping a track of when vaccination slots are available. You will get all the latest COVID-19-related information on the Aarogya Setu app. For more details regarding the COVID-19 vaccination registration, appointments, and vaccine slot availability, you can read this article.

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