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Sale of vaccination certificates and false negative tests increases by 500%

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Check Point warns of the threat posed by false vaccination and negative test certification schemes to the success of the UK and European Union program on COVID-19 passports. According to the cybersecurity company, it is necessary to take measures to combat the counterfeiting that prevails in hacking forums, with Dark Net and even in official apps, such as Telegram.

The European Union agreement, which comes into force on June 7, scheduled to launch on July 1, will provide a free certificate in the form of QR Code for smartphone or on paper, which will serve as proof of how the person is vaccinated, immunized because she recently had the virus or has a negative PCR test result. UK travelers who have already received both doses of the vaccine will be able to use the NHS app as a vaccine passport and are expected to join the European Union’s program as a third country.

There are other countries that want to launch their own COVID passports, such as the Czech Republic, France and Germany. Without a global approach that guarantees the verification and validation of these certificates, fragmented and ambiguous rules will play in favor of hackers and cybercriminals, warn researchers at Check Point Research.

CPR advances that the number of forged certificate resellers increased by 500% between March and May, demonstrating that the demand for solutions that are not under surveillance is high and tends to increase as we approach the summer vacation season.

Sale of vaccination certificates and false negative tests increases by

Customers of this type of offer can range from people who tested positive to people who refuse to be tested or to get the vaccine, not forgetting users who, due to ignorance, end up in fraudulent domains, ending up making the purchase thinking that it is legitimate.

Check Point recalls the importance of using only applications from official suppliers. Travelers should pay particular attention to spelling errors present in the domains or websites. Also the QR Codes themselves can serve as a gateway for the information stored in the device.

Hackers replace legitimate code with one that implements a malicious URL or that results in the download of custom malware when scanning. Then, through malicious code, login credentials used in other phone applications – such as banking or retail apps – can even be stolen and even make payments.

Our call is for governments to act together and quickly to tackle the growing number of sales of fake certificates, both on Telegram and on the Dark Net. Without a central system, it will be much easier for hackers to get between the drops. from the rain, ” affirms Rui Duro, Country Manager at Check Point Software in Portugal.The individuals themselves must also be reminded that the QR code is nothing more than a quick and convenient way to access a link; a link that often passes them by. Therefore, it is not possible to know with certainty that the appeal is legitimate and the attack may have started. The European Union says its vaccination passports will be safe, but hackers will always try to exploit new opportunities. We strongly advise you to use mobile security solutions that protect devices and their data from phishing, malicious apps and malware. ”

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