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They discover sale of fake COVID passes on Telegram and social networks

Despite the fact that the COVID pass has now been established in Europe as a requirement to be able to access certain places, even so, there are people who resist being given the COVID-19 vaccine in order to obtain said pass.

This has caused that in countries like the United Kingdom, people who oppose these vaccines resort to obtaining the COVID pass illegally.

One of the ways to do this has been through the social networks in which posts can be found offering fake certificates to unvaccinated people, so that they can access the places where this document is required.

Given the advance of the Omicron variant by the different EU countries, England took the initiative to deploy a Plan B through which they intend to apply measures that help prevent the spread of this virus and encourage vaccination in the population, being the pass COVID one of them.

Regarding the counterfeiting of the COVID pass, Jonathan Benton, leader of Intelligent Sanctuary, a cyber research company pointed out a la BBC the next:

«We were finding passes, certificates, cards, vaccination cards, even the choice of the vaccine that you wanted to record on the card».

Also, Benton mentions that together with his team he had discovered the existence of a range of passes available for sale; some of them blank with the official stamps ready to be filled in with the buyer’s data, while others were already sold as complete fakes.

On sale of passes on Telegram, the BBC also found several Facebook posts linked to channels in said messaging app, which offered to sell Covid certificates to unvaccinated people. Analysis by the BBC and cybersecurity firm Checkpoint found that over a seven-month period between December 2020 and July 2021, Telegram channels offering Covid passes for unvaccinated people in multiple languages ​​grew from less than 10 to more. of a thousand.

The illicit sale of these passes has even escalated to red oscura (deep web), in which it is possible to find this document being offered together with drugs, weapons, among other items through vendors who guarantee their clients to get the format of this pass for different countries, including United States and the European Union.

This is how the publication of a seller was found that claimed to have the ability to provide certificates of 22 countries, among them Morocco, Latvia, Australia, Spain, Greece, France, Portugal and of course the United Kingdom.

Some of these sellers of illicit COVID passes were not only able to offer the customer the format of this document on paper, but also in Digital version, giving this the possibility of evade COVID apps used by the national health authorities of some countries with QR code.

This, thanks to the presence of contacts within these agencies who fulfilled the task of entering the information of the false COVID pass in the database, so that it was later approved by the application at the time of the QR code scan.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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