The Union government on Thursday dismissed media reports about CoWIN being hacked, stating that prima facie, these reports appear to be fake and adding that the portal stores all the vaccination data in a safe and secure digital environment. "There have been some unfounded media reports on the CoWIN platform being hacked. Prima facie, these reports appear to be fake," a statement issued by the Union Health Ministry said. However, the ministry and the Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (EGVAC) are getting the matter investigated by the Computer Emergency Response Team of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY), the statement added.
Dr RS Sharma, Chairman of the Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (CoWIN), clarified that "our attention has been drawn towards the news circulating on social media about the alleged hacking of the CoWIN system. In this connection, we wish to state that CoWIN stores all the vaccination data in a safe and secure digital environment. No CoWIN data is shared with any entity outside the CoWIN environment. The data being claimed as having been leaked, such as the geo-location of beneficiaries, is not even collected at CoWIN."
The news circulated after a hacker group that goes by the name of 'Dark Leak Market' claimed via a tweet that it has the database of about 15 crore Indians who have registered themselves on the CoWIN portal, and it reselling the data for $800 since it is not the "original leakers" of the data.
Security researchers also concurred with the government statement and said that the claims of CoWIN being hacked were fake. Independent cyber security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia told IANS that the hacking group's website is fake, and it is running a Bitcoin scam. "CoWIN is not hacked as the so-called hacking group is listing fake leaks. It is a Bitcoin scam and people should not fall victim to these hackers. The CoWIN data is safe," Rajaharia told IANS. Earlier, French security researcher Baptiste Robert aka Elliot Alderson had also re-tweeted the post by 'Dark Leak Market', but later deleted it.