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rajeev chandrasekhar: CoWIN data breach: FIR has been registered, MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar tells Parliament

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CoWIN portal, India’s Covid vaccination portal, has adequate safeguards for data privacy and has done regular vulnerability assessment, as per information provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, told the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

“The MoHFW has lodged a complaint and an F.I.R has been registered by a law enforcement agency and CERT-In has provided inputs to facilitate investigation,” he said in response to a question posed by Rajya Sabha member Syed Nasir Hussain.

Taking cognisance of the cyber incident regarding CoWIN data in June, he said CERT-In coordinated incident response measures with the MoHFW. On June 12, reports had emerged that a bot on the messaging platform Telegram was allegedly returning personal data of Indian citizens who registered with the CoWIN portal for vaccination purposes. The bot revealed personal details like name, Aadhaar and passport numbers upon entry of phone numbers, it was alleged.

Chandrasekhar added that the government has taken several measures to enhance the cyber security posture and prevent data breaches. He said that on observing the reported data breaches, CERT-In notifies the affected organisations along with remedial actions to be taken. It also coordinates incident response measures with affected organisations, service providers, respective sector regulators as well as law enforcement agencies.

Also read | Did not shut down Twitter services, raid homes of executives: Rajeev Chandrasekhar in Parliament

Further, he said the nodal cybersecurity agency issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats/vulnerabilities and countermeasures to protect computers, networks and data on an ongoing basis.

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“A special advisory on security practices to enhance resilience of health sector entities has been communicated by CERT-In to MoHFW, for sensitising health sector entities regarding latest cyber security threats in December last year. The Ministry has been requested to disseminate the advisory among all authorised medical care entities / service providers in the country,” he said. Chandrasekhar said CERT-In has issued guidelines on information security practices for government entities in June this year covering domains such as data security, network security, identity and access management, application security, third-party outsourcing, hardening procedures, security monitoring, incident management and security auditing.

He said that the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre too has been set up for the protection of critical information infrastructure and responding to cyber incidents pertaining to such infrastructure.

“The Centre provides near-real-time threat intelligence and situational awareness, based on which regular alerts and tailored advisories are sent to the entities concerned with such infrastructure,” he said.

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CoWIN portal, India’s Covid vaccination portal, has adequate safeguards for data privacy and has done regular vulnerability assessment, as per information provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, told the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

“The MoHFW has lodged a complaint and an F.I.R has been registered by a law enforcement agency and CERT-In has provided inputs to facilitate investigation,” he said in response to a question posed by Rajya Sabha member Syed Nasir Hussain.

Taking cognisance of the cyber incident regarding CoWIN data in June, he said CERT-In coordinated incident response measures with the MoHFW. On June 12, reports had emerged that a bot on the messaging platform Telegram was allegedly returning personal data of Indian citizens who registered with the CoWIN portal for vaccination purposes. The bot revealed personal details like name, Aadhaar and passport numbers upon entry of phone numbers, it was alleged.

Chandrasekhar added that the government has taken several measures to enhance the cyber security posture and prevent data breaches. He said that on observing the reported data breaches, CERT-In notifies the affected organisations along with remedial actions to be taken. It also coordinates incident response measures with affected organisations, service providers, respective sector regulators as well as law enforcement agencies.

Also read | Did not shut down Twitter services, raid homes of executives: Rajeev Chandrasekhar in Parliament

Further, he said the nodal cybersecurity agency issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats/vulnerabilities and countermeasures to protect computers, networks and data on an ongoing basis.

Discover the stories of your interest


“A special advisory on security practices to enhance resilience of health sector entities has been communicated by CERT-In to MoHFW, for sensitising health sector entities regarding latest cyber security threats in December last year. The Ministry has been requested to disseminate the advisory among all authorised medical care entities / service providers in the country,” he said. Chandrasekhar said CERT-In has issued guidelines on information security practices for government entities in June this year covering domains such as data security, network security, identity and access management, application security, third-party outsourcing, hardening procedures, security monitoring, incident management and security auditing.

He said that the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre too has been set up for the protection of critical information infrastructure and responding to cyber incidents pertaining to such infrastructure.

“The Centre provides near-real-time threat intelligence and situational awareness, based on which regular alerts and tailored advisories are sent to the entities concerned with such infrastructure,” he said.

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