A big, dark bazaar seems to have been set up lately around vaccination and disease certificates. Scammers sell fake vaccination certificates from 250 euros on the Dark Web.
The "menu" is extensive: fake vaccinations, fake and fake vaccination certificates, as well as "monkey" coronavirus disease certificates. Regarding the virtual vaccinations in Greece, the competent bodies and Authorities remain on alert.
Both the National Transparency Authority and the mechanisms of the Ministry of Digital Government warn that the process of issuing a vaccination certificate is fully digitized, which means that there are traces that can easily lead to those involved in these circuits.
Fake vaccination certificates, with QR code, on the Dark Web - For 250 to 500 euros
Nevertheless, circuits and offenders are constantly modifying their methods. Recently, in fact, a new trend appeared on the Dark Web ("dark internet" in Hellenistic).
But what is the Dark Web?
"The Dark Web is an interesting website made up mainly of hackers, security investigators, prosecutors and criminals of all kinds. Imagine a large shopping mall, where anyone interested can find products of informal economy and illegal shopping. From substances of various kinds, weapons, company databases to forged certificates of all kinds "says Konstantinos Vavousis, Information Systems Security Consultant, to iefimerida.gr.
According to Mr. Vavousis, fake vaccination certificates have started appearing on the Dark Web. "We can mention that fake certificates are already sold on the Dark Web for 250-500 euros. They get a valid certificate depending on the target country, they change the necessary data with those of the client and sometimes the QR code which is obviously not valid "he explains. The inspirers, depending on the "shop" in Darknet that someone will turn to, promise to issue vaccination certificates for each country - or for many countries - and among them is Greece.
What if someone buys a fake certificate on the Dark Web
Those who persist and eventually proceed to purchase a fake vaccination certificate through the Dark Web will be faced with an unpleasant surprise.
"The user who has paid for this certificate can not confirm its validity before receipt, so he falls victim to fraud. I tell you that I make it, I give it to you and you can not control it. Whatever you pay you get. This is a forgery "adds Konstantinos Vavousis.
And what will happen when he goes to use it? "If someone uses the QR code of a fake certificate received from fraudsters, obviously the QR code reader will not be able to recognize it and will receive an error message. Simply put in the case of forgery will receive a message of invalid certificate. It is an easy scam ", concludes Mr. Vavousis, Information Systems Security Consultant.
"We will identify those who issue false certificates"
At the same time, the authorities in Greece have turned their attention to the phenomenon of fake certificates. This is a different category from counterfeit ones, as the fake certificate is genuine and opens "doors". The reason is that in this case vaccination has been confirmed, which, however, was fictitious.
Speaking about the issue to iefimerida.gr, Mr. Demosthenes Anagnostopoulos, General Secretary of Information Systems of Public Administration, from the Ministry of Digital Government, stated a few days ago that "we are talking about the human factor. That is, for a person who falsely claims something, in this case a vaccination […] Therefore, it is obvious that it has nothing to do with any computer problem or system vulnerability. It's just like sometimes with disability benefits. This is an expert who gives a false certificate for his client ".
For his part, Mr. Angelos Binis, Commander of the National Transparency Authority pointed out, speaking to iefimerida.gr that "the public administration, the control mechanisms, the Control Authorities have the appropriate tools to document the guilt of those involved" in activities issuing false certificates.
How the offenders will be found
The commander of the National Transparency Authority clarified that the control mechanisms "run" scenarios to see irregularities in the system. These patterns are the activities that reveal that something suspicious is happening in the background.
According to information from iefimerida.gr, the points that ring a "bell" at the Authorities for sham vaccinations are the following:
- vaccination centers, mainly in the periphery, where citizens rush en masse with permanent residence in other areas
- health professionals (doctors / nurses) who register unusually large numbers of vaccinations
- vaccinations registered at "suspicious" hours or even overtime
"We emphasize it, the process is digital, there are digital traces. So we can know what has happened before. And we will pursue the issue repressively. The people must understand, that is, whoever puts such thoughts in his mind, that everything is there, in the system. "Everything is there and we find it," said concluding Mr. Demosthenes Anagnostopoulos, General Secretary of Information Systems of Public Administration.
* Konstantinos Vavousis is an Information Systems Security Consultant