Covid certificate: New reports on counterfeiting, EU Commission weighs up

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Fake vaccination certificates based on the EU’s Covid certificate can be obtained on the black market in France for 300 euros. This is reported by the online portal “France Inter”, citing a 31-year-old educator who bought one of the coveted QR codes for proof of valid vaccination protection against Covid-19 at a conspiratorial meeting organized by acquaintances through cash target. The EU Commission nevertheless considers the instrument to be “completely safe”.

Nicolas Baudelot, co-founder of the home care platform Medicalib, explained the principle behind the deception according to the report: An intermediary delivers the personal data required for the certificate to a healthcare professional such as a doctor, pharmacist, nurse or nurse who has personal access to the national vaccination platform. He enters the information on his computer as if he had just vaccinated the person in question. The non-authentic certificate is ready.

Sometimes an extra dose of vaccine is thrown in the trash so that the stocks match the number of people allegedly vaccinated, it said. The generated QR code is “real”, even if a false statement is made with it. The printable and scannable signet was validated by Ameli, the responsible French certification authority. The fraud can no longer be proven in second gear.

In France, proof of vaccination in the form of the so-called “pass sanitaire” is to become mandatory for professional groups such as teachers and trainers. According to the report, this requirement drives many opponents of vaccination into the hands of fraudsters. They usually do not have a guilty conscience, as the relevant vaccines do not protect against infection with the coronavirus, but only against a severe course of the disease it causes.

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Previously, there had also been reports in this country that the EU-wide digital proof of vaccination can be forged quite easily and that there are gaps in the security chain. At the time, the main concern was that people who had been vaccinated at an early stage could have the entry from their conventional, yellow vaccination pass transferred to the Covid certificate in a doctor’s office, pharmacy or a vaccination center without verification. The “analog” proof in the previous vaccination book could be falsified with reasonable effort, according to the fear of a different starting point for fraud. The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) blamed the Federal Ministry of Health for the loophole.

The EU Commission brought the certificate, initially called a “green digital certificate”, into play in March, primarily to facilitate travel within the community. It should prove that the owners have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, have recovered or have tested negative. end of August tweeted the commissionthat over 350 million Covid certificates have already been issued.

The new reports on forgeries have been taken note of and take the matter “very seriously”, a Commission spokesman now told the online magazine “Euractiv”. Appropriate measures would be taken if necessary. Europol has also followed the issue of pandemic fraud from the start.

At the same time, the spokesman emphasized: “It is important to differentiate between the security of the digital EU Covid certificate and the possible falsification of vaccination certificates that are used to create the secure digital EU Covid certificate.” The QR code itself contains security features that “cannot be forged”. The digital signature of the barcode with cryptographic keys contributes to “that the authenticity, integrity and validity of the certificates can be checked”.

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The trust framework, which forms the infrastructure for the reliable and secure issuing and checking of digital certificates, is based on a public key infrastructure, according to the statement from Brussels. There is also a “chain of trust” from the health authorities or trustworthy offices of the member states to the individual bodies that issue the EU certificates. This structure enables “the detection of fraud, in particular counterfeiting, by a person in the chain of trust with the help of a suitable application”.

However, it is “very important that the member states put in place robust controls and procedures at the points where certificates are generated,” emphasized the spokesman. This is the only way for the authorities to ensure that the exhibition is “well protected”. Every vaccination certificate used must be properly checked.


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