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Quebec Says The QR Codes Are Still Secure After Politicians' Codes Were Reportedly Hacked

The Ministry of Health said the police have been contacted.

Senior Editor
Quebec QR Codes 'Secure' After Reported Hacking, Gov't Says

Following Friday reports from La Presse and the Journal de Montréal that hackers had successfully accessed the QR code proof of vaccination of some elected leaders, including, according to the reports, those of Premier François Legault and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, Quebec's Ministry of Health (MSSS) put out a strongly-worded statement announcing that "formal complaints" have been made to police.

Health Minister Christian Dubé, whose QR code was also reportedly hacked, insisted on Twitter that the QR codes are secure.

"The QR code and the personal information it contains cannot be used without the consent of the individuals," Dubé wrote. "Violators are subject to civil/criminal prosecution." The ministry said authorities will investigate whether criminal charges should be laid after the hacking incident.

The MSSS further stated that the point of introducing the vaccine passport system, including the app VaxiCode, ahead of its September 1 launch was to identify "necessary adjustments."

"If improvements need to be made, they will be made," it wrote, also reiterating that the only information "contained in the QR code is the name, date of birth and list of vaccinations received" — information, the ministry said, the public already knows about for "well-known people" like the leaders whose codes were hacked.

On Twitter, Québec Solidaire spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, whose QR code was also among those reportedly hacked, called the incident an "embarrassing and worrying amateurism" on the part of the government.

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