Danger sign for Sydney’s roadmap out of lockdown as it’s revealed Covid vax passports can be forged for $270 – letting the unvaccinated slip through the net
- Software developers have revealed they can alter their vaccination certificates
- Other forged vaccine certificates are being sold online for as little as $270
- Experts have said a signature should be required to prove certificate is real
- Sydneysiders will need to show they’re double vaxxed to enjoy new freedoms
Forged Covid-19 vaccination certificates are being sold for as little as $270 – raising fears for Sydney’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Fully vaccinated Sydneysiders will be able to gather outside in groups of five people from Monday as restrictions in the Covid-riddled city slowly start to lift.
They will need to prove they’ve received both doses of the jab which can be shown on the Federal Government’s digital vaccination certificate.
But software developers have pointed out the certificates can be easily altered with some people illegally selling forged passes for those who aren’t vaccinated.
Through the encrypted messaging system Telegram, some are offering fake vaccination certificates for various countries at just $US200 which is the equivalent to $AUD270.
Software developers have pointed out the vaccination certificates set up by the Australian government can be easily forged (stock image)
Software engineer Richard Nelson shared a video of himself changing a name and vaccination status on one of the certificates that are available on the Express Plus Medicare App to emphasise the flaws in the system.
‘I think very few people have put effort into understanding what the issue is here,’ he told the ABC.
He said he alerted the government to the issue two weeks ago but it still hasn’t been fixed, adding he’s since been contacted by Australians who are after fake certificates.
He believes the certificates should require a digital signature like the vaccine passports that are used in Europe which utilise a QR scanning code.
When someone enters a country in the EU a guard will scan their vaccine passport.
Their signature is then verified by a system called the EU Gateway which only confirms it is correct and doesn’t store any other personal information about the person.
Sydneysiders will need to prove they’re double jabbed next week to enjoy a slight easing in restrictions
Some people have been offering fake vaccination certificates online for $270 (pictured are stock images of NSW vaccine certificates)
Fenn Bailey, another software developer from Melbourne said the government was relying on a ‘high-school grade permissions password’ to stop Australians from altering their vaccination status.
‘One could argue that this means these [documents] are not certificates, in that they fail to meet the definition of being certified as authentic,’ Mr Bailey told the publication.
‘You can make it say whatever you want.’
A spokesperson for Employment Minister Stuart Robert said the government had regularly been updating the vaccination certificate and its security measures.
‘Since mandating the recording of Covid vaccinations on the Australian Immunisation Register, the Federal Government has iteratively updated proof of vaccination certificates – including bolstering security measures – and the Government will continue to iteratively update the proof of vaccination certificates,’ they said.
The government say they are regularly updating the vaccine certificate and its security measures
For New South Wales a vaccination passport is expected to be trialled in October through the Service NSW app in plans for businesses to welcome back jabbed customers.
That app is expected to include a QR code and a hologram of a Waratah to reduce the risk of someone fraudulently making their own certificate.
‘Service NSW is working closely with the federal government on the ability to display a COVID vaccination certificate within the Service NSW app and link vaccination status with the COVID-Safe Check-In,’ a Service NSW spokesperson said.
‘The vaccination certificate and check-in screens will have a number of security features which can be validated to help reduce risk of fraud.’
It’s understood the service is looking at matching the person’s identity with the Australian Immunisation Register to confirm the vaccination status.
For New South Wales a vaccination passport is expected to be trialled in October through the Service NSW app in plans for businesses to welcome back jabbed customers