- A fake message claiming a free COVID-19 vaccination slot is making the rounds on mobile phones.
- Only Android users are receiving this message via messages app.
- The link mentioned in the message is actually a malware link.
Almost everyone is trying to get registered for a COVID-19 vaccine jab as soon as possible, given the unprecedented rise in COVID-19 infections across the country.
The third phase of India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive started on May 1, in which everyone over the age of 18 can be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but several facilities have expressed concerns about vaccine shortages.
Following that, many people have created platforms that use the official COVID-19 vaccine registration platform, CoWIN API, to help people find available vaccination slots near them.
However, contributing to the officials’ and citizens’ concerns, a fake message is now circulating on cell phones stating that by merely installing the attached app, individuals will register for the COVID-19 vaccination slot.
Only Android users are receiving this message via the messages app. According to Lukas Stefano’s tweet, the link embedded in the message leads to malware, which he first noticed last month.
According to Stefanko, a Malware Researcher, the fake message sent to Indian Android users, includes a link that says “Registration for vaccine using COVID-19 app.”
SMS worm impersonates Covid-19 vaccine free registration— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) April 29, 2021
Android SMS worm tries to spread via text messages as fake free registration for Covid-19 vaccine – targets India 🇮🇳
It can spread itself via SMS to victim contacts with link to download this malware. https://t.co/EXAAGARqOP pic.twitter.com/HX957bPVu5
In India, Android users who receive such messages are advised to ignore or remove them. The people who are 18 years and above can get themselves, registered for the Coronavirus vaccine only through the CoWIN website, and Aarogya Setu app.