Biometrics pitched for COVID-19 controls as fake vaccine certificates spotted online
The role of biometrics in society’s COVID-19 recovery may continue to expand, with a Philippines company launching an app for contact tracing and proof of vaccination, just as reports emerge of fake test results and vaccine certificates being sold on the dark web.
Casha launches app with contactless fingerprint recognition
Casha Inc., which makes payment app Casha, has developed an app called Biometrax that it wants the government of its home-base the Philippines to adopt for its contact-tracing program, according to a paid piece for Inquirer.net.
The apps currently used for contact tracing in the country do not verify the identity of the individual, according to app developer and Casha CEO Richelle Singson-Michael.
Biometrax captures fingerprint and face biometric data using the mobile device’s camera, and then issues a unique cryptographic code the company says compresses 250 times more data than a QR code. The app stores health data on the device to be used offline and protect user privacy, and can also be used as a health pass for proof of vaccination, according to the company.
Singson-Michael also advocates for a centralized biometric database, like the country’s PhilSys, to help it organize its vaccine roll-out.
Fake vaccine certificates for sale – now only $250
Check Point Research has found a supply of fake COVID-19 test and vaccination credentials, as well as vaccines themselves, for sale online, according to a company blog post.
Users of the ‘Darknet’ and various hacker forums can acquire fake vaccine passport certificates for the combined price of $250 and sharing their personal details with someone they know is an online fraudster. Fake negative COVID-19 test results cost as little as $25.
One post advertised a fake Russian vaccine certificate “for those who do not want to be vaccinated,” for approximately $135. In an exchange for a certificate from a clinic in Moscow, another seller claims that many people have already used such credentials to cross international borders.
The apparent proliferation of fake credentials only adds fuel to the drive for interoperable and secure digital health passes with biometric identity binding.