According to anti-phishing tech company HumanFirewall, phishing attempts centred around Covid-19 and Aarogya Setu app have seen a significant surge over past few weeks.

During April 28, 2020 to May 13, 2020, phishing attempts related to Aarogya Setu has seen a massive spike.

As per HumanFirewall, Aarogya Setu focused scams have risen among enterprise customers, specifically since the Indian government mandated the use of it for public and private organisations’ employees, and putting the onus of 100 per cent compliance on the head of the organisation. Scammers have seen this as a huge opportunity because people expect to hear from their chief executive officers (CEO), heads of organisations and HR departments at such times, meaning that emails will be opened, and employees baited.

Further, the report added that the phishing attempts are centered around messages and emails that are spread under the guise of information related to ‘HR release on Aarogya Setu’, ‘HR mandates Aarogya (sic) Setu’, ‘Your neighbour is affected’, ‘See who all are affected’, ‘Your area is the next to go into quarantine’, among others.

According to the report, the Indian armed forces had also issued an advisory stating that inimical intelligence agencies are spreading fake Aarogya Setu apps via WhatsApp (whishing), SMS (smishing) and phishing emails. These fake apps take control of the army personnel’s devices and pose a huge risk, as affected phones can record voices, track locations, take videos without the user knowing.