....A Year End Special
Each year in the second week of December, we curate the most popular Qryptal blog posts using Google Analytics. These are the posts that saw some excellent traction over the year. Most of our users and clients look forward to this list. So here is the 2020 list again - The most read Qryptal blog posts in 2020. Some highlights of 2021 were as below
2021 has been a fantastic year for secure QR code technology, with Covid test reports and Covid Vaccination certificates massively adopting QR code technology.
The other factor that has led to a surprising uptake or interest in QR code technology is the rising popularity of Blockchain technology, which has ironically driven traction towards more affordable, easily implementable options like Secure QR code, which minimizes document tampering fraudulent transactions.
The continuing rise of QR codes in India and China further catapulted the need for QR code-led solutions by governments worldwide.
Here is the top ten list of our published Blogposts
…and what you can do to not become a victim.
When a screenshot as proof of payment becomes a scam shot, it is time for you to act. In today’s world of online transactions and money transfers, screenshots of payments have become a standard method for the merchant / third party to initiate delivery or fulfillment of the transaction. Unfortunately, some fraudsters have played the system by producing fake screenshots and duping the merchant / third party. A simple google search for “fake screenshot payments” will bring up dozens of articles referring to such scams. What is worse is that you will stumble across websites offering to help make fake screenshots and YouTube tutorials for the same.
Short answer - The best of both worlds - Blockchains like results and the ease of use of QR codes
Over the last decade, we have seen QR codes grow in popularity across many applications away from their original use in manufacturing, thanks to the widespread ownership of camera smartphones with apps that can read the QR Codes. This led to an explosion in their usefulness - in marketing, secure documents, etc. In the last year, it skyrocketed further in popularity due to its use for contract tracing for COVID-19 and related applications (Covid test reports and Vaccination certificates) and is now ubiquitous.
Blockchain has also risen in popularity for its potential uses beyond its original use in cryptocurrency bitcoin in the same decade. For example, it is actively being looked at for areas such as smart contracts, trade finance, and questions have been raised about its use for secure documents such as certificates.
At Qryptal, we have often been asked about using blockchains versus secure QR. It turns out it need not be an either-or discussion
Marriages of convenience are a cliché. A typical example would be a marriage with a foreign national to obtain citizenship. Most of these marriages would only exist on paper. One party is paid to sign the legal document for accepting the other as a spouse. And these documents would be presented to the authorities to get the country’s citizenship. Such blatant attempts of bypassing the immigration law have resulted in convictions as well.
An article from a BBC correspondent investigated sham marriages in the UK and how illegal immigrants used them as their first line of defense.
…. using a QR Code Generator and how do you Validate it
With increased incidents of document fraud, having a secure, encrypted QR code is one of the most mature, proven, and easily implementable methods for document security. Furthermore, creating such a secure and encrypted QR code is easy. Placing them on documents makes them tamper-proof and verifiable by a third party without dependence on databases and with complete privacy.
Five simple steps towards document security with a Secure QR Code
Qryptal Secure Code System can work for this, too, and we are honored that our efforts in this respect are helping the global community tackle the pandemic.
Qryptal Secure Code System (QSCS) can generate many secure codes, including Digital COVID Certificates, earlier known as Digital Green Certificates (DGC). DCC is a new open standard published by the EU Digital COVID Certificates (EUDCC) project. It is meant to issue three types of certificates:
a) Vaccination Certificates (‘v’): for vaccinated people to receive proof of vaccination.
As early as March 2020, we wrote a blog post - How to Make Covid-19 Test Reports Easily Verifiable. In addition, over the last 18 months, we have written several articles such as Integrating document security into COVID Test Reports.
So, when Euronews recently shared that Fake COVID-19 certificates sales rise as health passes become mandatory, it only highlighted what we had written about for the Kumbh Mela in India, for example, and elsewhere since the beginning of last year.
With COVID-19 certificates becoming mandatory worldwide, some people are turning to social media platforms like Telegram to buy fake health passes at the cost of around €100. Euronews highlighted that in just a few months of launching COVID certificates as a health pass, accounts that started selling photoshopped certificates delivered via email have grown in number in Europe and around the world, triggering an increase in cyber-crime.
As you may have observed, QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes but are much more helpful than standard barcodes. QR codes can store (and digitally present) much more data, including URL links, geo coordinates, and text for the same size, compared to regular 2D barcodes. A significant advantage of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, all modern cell phones can scan them using a simple app/QR reader. Also, QR codes are based on an open standard, so anyone can use them and modify the security and information packing as per the use case and requirements.
Hence, it is not surprising that QR codes have proliferated in the last few years. They are already used in….
Fake Medical Bills? No Problem – Here is a SMART Solution
Fake medical claims have been affecting the industry for a long time. However, until now, there was no easy solution to prevent tampering or manipulation at the issuer’s end (service providers such as clinics or hospitals) or check authentication at the processing end (e.g., insurance companies) that would ensure that the fake claims are rejected. The current method of manual checks is tedious, error-prone, and is expensive. As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year due to fake and tampered medical claims.
Here are a few examples from Delhi to Dallas…
Why Secure QR Code is the Answer to Oz’s growing Fake Vax Menace….
When Cointelegraph recently shared their view that Fake vax certificates renew calls for blockchain-based solutions in Australia, we were not surprised.
Founded in 2013, Cointelegraph is a popular resource covering news on blockchain technology, crypto assets, and emerging fintech trends. They claim that their editorial content is based on in-depth analytics, comprehensive cryptocurrency price charts, and digital currency transformation.
While Cointelegraph’s analysis of fake vaccination certificates is correct, Blockchain is not the best solution to address the phony vax certificates problem. We have shared about this over a few blog posts titled - Why does Secure QR code score over Blockchain? and in Why Having Immunity Passports on Blockchain is a bad idea
As goes the famous André Gide quote - “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again."
In a recent real-life article - Travelling during Covid: ‘I was nervous using a fake Covid-19 test certificate’, the BBC World journalist has shared how 24-year-old Louise* traveled to Ghana in October with a fake negative Covid-19 test certificate.
COVID-19 negative documentation is needed in many countries before departure/on arrival to prove that you do not have the virus and are fit to fly. These tests can often cost a couple of hundred pounds. Then there is the logistical hassle of obtaining these certificates in a specified time for the travel.
This BBC reporter unearthed a story of two women who admitted to using and selling fake certificates, which was the tip of the iceberg. This is not limited to Ghana or the UK but is a global phenomenon.
….Eight reasons why Secure QR codes are the correct solution
As per reports, over 100 tourists were caught with counterfeit RT-PCR test reports in Uttarakhand, India. Not long ago, we had written a blog post about a massive breach in the same state with an article titled - What! 1,00,000 fake COVID-19 test certificates that went undetected
Even as some states enforce strict RT-PCR test requirements for admission, people across the country are now resorting to editing old RT-PCR test reports or creating entirely new ones on their laptops. To curtail fake RT-PCR reports, the government recently made it mandatory that all test reports must come with a QR code so that the test results can be verified electronically.
But with countless free PDF editors and QR code generators available online, a fake report can be created in minutes. And if someone does not know how to create one, any roadside cyber cafe can help make one for as little as Rs 200.
You may also like -
- The most read Qryptal blog posts of 2020 are here…Part 1
- The most read Qryptal blog posts of 2020 are here…Part 2
- A Definitive Guide to Using QR Codes
- Top 4 Myths about QR Codes