Surprise! Ernakulam man finds his mobile number was used by UP native for Covid vaccine registration- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

KOCHI: This Ernakulam native was in for a surprise when he logged onto CoWin ( Ernakulam registration website on Tuesday as an Uttar Pradesh resident has taken vaccine using his mobile phone number and a vaccination certificate of the person has been uploaded in dashboard of his logged-in page. 

“I don’t know how this Uttar Pradesh native took vaccination using my mobile number which was already used for CoWin registration for me and my wife,” said 45-year-old Shahid Ameen. He said it was in April that he first used his personal mobile phone number for vaccine registration in CoWin. “I got my first dose in April and my wife got her first dose two days back. So, when I logged on to the site using the mobile phone number to see the status of our vaccination, I saw the dashboard with a message about vaccination details of a person in the name of Dhaniram.

I downloaded the certificate and found that the person had used my mobile phone number for registration. I don’t know how it can happen because we need to enter an OTP that we receive in the registered mobile number for logging into the website each time. I have received the OTPs only when I prompted it. It’s a mystery how someone can use another person’s mobile phone number without his/her consent for vaccination,” Ameen said adding that he has been using the particular mobile number for over eight years. 

As per the CoWin vaccination certificate, Dhaniram aged 46 (Male) with an Aadhaar number ending 5959 had taken first dose of Covishield vaccine on June 7, 2021, at a PHC in Balarampur, UP. Cyber security expert and Data Security Council of India member Manu Zacharia said the system could be easily manipulated with admin access. “It could have occurred purposefully or by mistake. As a number could be used to add four members for vaccination, it is possible for someone in back-end operations to manipulate the system to add beneficiaries,” he said. 

A cyber wing police officer said someone could have manipulated the system for someone who does not have any valid ID. “Mobile number registration is the main validating process for vaccine registration on the website. Though the website asks the user to choose an identification document from a list of documents, there is no other specific verification process,” the officer said.

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