Ramdev’s Patanjali removed its much-hyped Kimbho messaging chat application from Google Play Store on Thursday, as first reported by Janta Ka Reporter.
This was within hours after a French cyber security expert, known as Elliot Alderson, called Patanjali-owned app a ‘joke’ and highlighted serious security lapses that had the potential to compromise its users’ data.
Alderson wrote, “This @KimbhoApp is a joke, next time before making press statements, hire competent developers… If it is not clear, for the moment don’t install this app. #Kimbho #KimbhoApp.” He then called it a day by calling Kimbho a security disaster. “Ok, I will stop here. The #Kimbho #android #app is a security disaster. I can access the messages of all the users…”
He then sensationally revealed that Kimbho was not an original mobile application but a ‘copy paste of another application’ Bolo app. He wrote, ““The @KimbhoApp is a copy paste of another #application. The description and the screenshots in the app stores are the same. Moreover, the #Kimbho app is making request to bolomessenger[.]com.”
Another user Abhishek Singh said mocked the team behind Kimbho app by the striking similarities in OTP SMS format between Patanjali’s app and Bolo. He wrote, “It is build on an app called “BOLO”. Kimbho team is so dumb that they didnt even changed the OTP SMS format!! Even the description n pics used are same as Bolo app!”
It is build on an app called “BOLO”. Kimbho team is so dumb that they didnt even changed the OTP SMS format!! Even the description n pics used are same as Bolo app! ? https://t.co/QKGjYC1y2J pic.twitter.com/40yRxZKbLX
— Abhishek Singh (@ThakurrSaab) May 31, 2018
Soon after Janta Ka Reporter carried the report of Ramdev’s company deleting its app from Google Play Store, the official Twitter account of Kimbho released a statement on the microblogging site saying that the app was deleted because of ‘extremely high traffic.’ It said, “We are facing extremely high traffic on Kimbho. We are in process of upgrading our servers and will be back shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please stay tuned.”
— Kimbho Chat App (@KimbhoApp) May 31, 2018
Ramdev’s spokesperson SK Tijarawala too tweeted claiming that the app published on Google Play Store was only a trial version.
Our trial version of #kimbho app is no longer available for download on any platform. We don't take any responsibility for many dulicate apps showing on anywhere. Beware!
आम सूचना..!#पतंजलि का #किम्भो एप का ट्रायल वर्जन अब कहीं भी डाउनलोड के लिए उपलब्ध नहीं है @yogrishiramdev https://t.co/KWkVrpoVge
— Tijarawala SK (@tijarawala) May 31, 2018
It looks like Patanjali was left embarrassed after Alderson exposed the serious loophole in its mobile app’s security feature that compromised users’ personal data and also that the app was allegedly copied from an already existing application.
This is the second time Ramdev’s company has had to face public embarrassment since the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 50 tonnes sandalwood being exported to China in February this year.