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Personal Data of Covid Vaccine Recipients Leaked on a Public Messaging Platform

Claims of a massive data breach reached everybody on Monday and the Government promised to look into the matter. People who had uploaded their information on the COWIN vaccine portal, including high-profile political leaders, have been affected by the information breach. The data is now available on the social networking profile, Telegram and can be accessed by any user.


According to the report by the Forth News, all the information including the PAN Card, and Aadhar Card details has been made available on Telegram. The government was flagged by the OppositionTMC’s Saket Gokhale who tweeted his interactions within the Telegram Chatbot. The opposition claimed an enquiry into the data breach.


The report states that when the mobile number registered with the Cowin profile is entered then the Telegram bot reveals the gender, birth year, name of the vaccination centers and doses.


After the data leak Of the Cowin App the Aadhar Card, Voter Card, and Pan Card, of the Indian Citizens are accessible to anyone on the social messaging app, Telegram.


Passport numbers of people traveling abroad who had updated on the Cowin App were also leaked. The details could be accessed even if the Aadhar number was entered instead of the mobile number.


After the latest update of the Telegram bot that exposed the information of the Indian Citizens, they are disabled now. The developers of the Telegram bot took the step. Officials told the Hindustan Times that whenever a report emerges on the social messaging platform a thorough report is conducted to check the database access.


CoWin is owned and managed by the Union Home Ministry. They said through a media release at 4.30 pm that it had requested the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), an arm of the information technology ministry, to “look into this issue and submit a report”.


In another development, the center responded to the new report by the Malayala Manorama. Government officials added that they have found discrepancies in the data leak, in the screenshot of the Cowin App.


The secretary of the Union Health Ministry Rajesh Bhusan was among the victims of the data breach according to Malayalam Daily. According to the report, when his mobile number was entered the last four digits of his Adhar Card and date of birth and details of his wife Ritu Khanduri, Uttarakhand MLA from Kotward.


Apart from these high-profile political leaders, many people are victims of this data breach. The personal data of Ram Sewak Sharma, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, Kerala Health Minister Veena George, and Union Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi have been breached.

In 2021 a claim arose that the Cowin database had been leaked and resulting in the sale of a database of a total of 15 crore people.The cyber security researchers however have denied the claim.


Edited By:Shahnawaz Chodhry


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