As many as 110,000 fake digital and paper-based Covid-19 vaccination and test certificates are in circulation in France and more than 400 separate investigations into the generation of fraudulent ‘pass sanitaire’ health passes are underway, France’s Ministry of the Interior has revealed.
The announcement comes as the country’s Ministry of Health confirms that it has identified and revoked more than 2,300 invalid vaccination certificates to date and that it is compiling the ‘digital fingerprints’ of fake health passes and the QR codes used to validate them as part of its investigation.
According to French newspaper L’Indépendant, the majority of forgeries incorporate “real QR codes” obtained either by downloading and/or modifying health passes belonging to other people or via “a health professional capable of giving vaccinations”.
“Indeed, doctors, for example, have access to Sidep (screening information system) and Sivac (vaccination) software with which they can generate QR codes. A doctor can thus act ‘by conviction’ and obtain false health passes.
“Other criminals have outright hacked doctors’ credentials to gain access to QR codes.”
France’s Minister of Solidarity and Health Olivier Véran confirmed that, while users of fake health passes who agreed to be vaccinated would be treated with “a certain tolerance”, those who generated and circulated forged documents — including health professionals — would “expose themselves to the penalties provided for in the law”.
Researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK identified a lack of global standards as one of the key barriers to the successful implementation of secure digital and paper-based health status documents in September.