Following the announcement of the coronavirus green passport program created by the Health Ministry to help those who’ve received the coronavirus vaccine return to normal life, a new phenomenon of counterfeit passports has begun to emerge, Israel Hayom reported.
The main concern, according to the report, is that the passport is very easy to duplicate with very little security, which can easily be bypassed using relatively simple means.
The details of the passport are meant to be examined using a barcode scanner, though several of them are not examined against those which are confirmed on the barcode scan, according to Amir Carmi, head of information security at HackerU Solutions, who was interviewed for the report.
He also claimed that the site which produces the green passports could be a privacy risk, as it contains the personal details of those vaccinated and may not be properly secured against cyber-attacks.
Andrei Yarmenko, Vice President of Technology at Hub Security, told Israel Hayom that the reason it would be easy to make forgeries of the passports is that the barcode is basically just an unverified encrypted version of the passport's text – although he did state that implementing cybersecurity programs against this would be relatively easy.
The Health Ministry responded by stating that the current format of the green passport is only in its initial stages and is meant to provide a quick answer to those who have received the vaccine.
"The green passport has yet to be launched, and its current format is meant to serve as a quick and initial answer," according to the Health Ministry statement. "The ministry is also collaborating with other countries around the world, and the World Health Organization, on the implementation of a secure barcode which will serve as a global standard – and once that is defined, a new passport will be produced to comply with the new parameters."
The counterfeit passport order is made anonymously both on the side of the buyer and the seller, making the police's job tracking them difficult, according to the Israel Hayom report.
The official green passport application has been designed, but the final rules and regulations surrounding the passport, along with the official date of its future release, have not yet been announced.