New Delhi: A man from Bihar was arrested and his minor brother apprehended for their alleged role in the massive leak of data from the health ministry’s Co-WIN portal, according to reports.
The Delhi police’s special cell, which made the arrest, told Indian Express that the accused is suspected of taking the help of his mother, a health worker, to collect information from the portal.
On June 12, it was reported that data from the portal, which contains information about the COVID-19 vaccination status of Indians and any other data gleaned from supporting government-issued IDs, was available on request through a Telegram bot. Details of several high-profile politicians were available.
According to IE, the Delhi police and CERT-In, working on the investigation, asked Telegram to give details about the bot and its creator.
“The accused was identified using technical surveillance. He was arrested from his residence in Bihar. We suspect he took his mother’s help to breach the system. He created a bot and shared it on Telegram. We know he was not selling the data to anyone in particular. He tried hacking the system and was successful. When he realised he could put all the data online, he did. We don’t think he had any other ulterior motives,” an officer told the newspaper.
After the leak, IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar claimed that Co-WIN’s database was not “directly breached” and that the Telegram bot was throwing up information from “previously stolen data”. This claim, however, raised more questions than it answered.