European authorities are conducting an investigation after it was found that the digital key used to sign and verify the European COVID-19 certificate had been leaked.
Over the past week, several fake COVID-19 certificate codes have been circulating online. Whoever obtained the code or viewed it on various online platforms was able to scan it and see the information it contained, TheSchengen.com reports.
It is believed that those who used the system illegally issued forged certificates in the names of fictitious characters – Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob – and of the founder of the Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler. All of these documents were recognized by official government applications, which means that they were perfectly valid if they were used to enter any of the EU member states.
Those who tried to scan the code through the Italian Verifica C19, were able to see the name of the certificate, which wrote “Hitler Adolf” as well as the date of birth. However, shortly after several people reported the QR code, the private key that was used to verify the so-called pass of Hitler and the other two passers-by was revoked on Wednesday.
These illegal actions were strongly condemned by EU spokesmen as well as security researchers who said that fake certificates may cause travel harassment for EU COVID-19 digital certificate holders as the authenticity of the certificates is now being questioned.
Except for this case, many EU countries have identified illegal procedures related to the issuance of fake COVID certificates. During the summer months, the Italian police arrested several people who were providing forged travel certificates worth between 100 and 150 euros depending on the type of document.
Ukrainian police authorities also launched an investigation against a doctor who was issuing fake COVID-19 certificates. Through a video released by the police, it was revealed that the arrested doctor had more than 11,000 euros in his office.
The EU COVID-19 Digital Certificate is a document created by the European Commission in order to facilitate travel within the bloc. The document consists of three certificates, indicating whether the holder has been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 disease or if he has a valid negative test taken recently.
Previously, the EU Commission revealed that over 591 million COVID-19 digital certificates had been issued to the EU as of the second week of October. The certification is a key component in supporting the European travel and tourism sector.