COVID-19: Maharashtra cyber department warns citizens to beware of fake oximeter app

Maharashtra Cyber Department has issued an advisory warning citizens of a fake Oximeter App. Once the user downloads this app, they provide all access permissions of various features of mobile data. The app can also go through all the photographs in the phone and can misuse the data for fraudulent activities. Such apps can also read inbox messages, bank alert messages, OTPs and steal users confidential data, advisory states.

According to the advisory, after the huge surge of COVID-19 cases in India and the condition is becoming critical, the demand of oxygen is increasing day by day. Due to these situations, people are worried about their health and are taking precautions with the help of fake apps to check their oxygen levels. "People think checking the oxygen level is easier and cheaper than going outside for a health check-up. It is impossible to check oxygen level by using the fingerprint, by doing this, the user is just allowing the hackers to access their data which is misused later by cyber-crooks," the advisory states.

Explaining the modus-operandi used by the fraudsters, the advisory states, "Once the user downloads this app and allow all access permissions such as fingerprint scanner to check oxygen level, this gives access to hackers to user's personal information. While using the app it also asks for permissions to access user's mobile photographs. This can be misused by the hackers."
The advisory states that the user should install apps after verifying the developer, ratings, reviews, and bugs. "Never download any such apps that makes fraudulent claims. User need to understand that fingerprint scanner alone in mobile can never calculate oxygen level. For checking oxygen level, one should have a proper Oximeter machine. In case user is not able to recognise that the app is a fake and ends up installing the app, then while in the process of checking the oxygen level, the user should not give permission to share location, camera, fingerprint, SMS and call logs which is never required for any oxygen measuring app," the advisory stated.

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