Qatar’s COVID-19 tracker could’ve exposed the data of over 1M users

Qatar’s COVID-19 tracker could’ve exposed the data of over 1M users 1

Who woulda thunk it? It turns out Qatar’s coronavirus contact tracing app, which the country made compulsory to install for residents last week, has glaring security holes.

Amnesty‘s Security Labs found a critical vulnerability in the software — dubbed Ehteraz — which would have allowed attackers to obtain tons of highly sensitive personal information, including the name, national ID, health status, and location data of more than 1 million users.

Fortunately, the issue has since been patched after Amnesty informed the Qatari government of the potential threat on May 21. The authorities responded promptly, releasing a fix on May 22.

While the Qatari authorities were quick to fix this issue, it was a huge security weakness and a fundamental flaw in Qatar’s contact tracing app that malicious attackers could have easily exploited,” said head of Amnesty‘s Security Labs, Claudio Guarnieri. “This vulnerability was especially worrying given use of the Ehteraz app was made mandatory last Friday.”

Amnesty’s investigation found that Ehteraz requested a QR code from a central server by providing a user’s national ID. Since no authentication was required, anyone could have requested a QR code for any Ehteraz user. This, in turn, would’ve made it possible to generate all possible ID combinations and retrieve all data the app stores.

This incident should act as a warning to governments around the world rushing out contact tracing apps that are too often poorly designed and lack privacy safeguards,” Guarnieri added. “If technology is to play an effective role in tackling the virus, people need to have confidence that contact tracing apps will protect their privacy and other human rights.”

Although Ehteraz was initially optional to install, Qatar later made it mandatory for all citizens to install the app when going outside — or face up to three years in prison and up to $55,000 in fines. Many protested the decision, citing concerns about the amount of data the app was collecting.

It turns out they had every right to be worried.

Corona coverage

Read our daily coverage on how the tech industry is responding to the coronavirus and subscribe to our weekly newsletter Coronavirus in Context.

For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.

About the author

E-Crypto News was developed to assist all cryptocurrency investors in developing profitable cryptocurrency portfolios through the provision of timely and much-needed information. Investments in cryptocurrency require a level of detail, sensitivity, and accuracy that isn’t required in any other market and as such, we’ve developed our databases to help fill in information gaps.

Related Posts

E-Crypto News Executive Interviews

Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Questions and Answers

What Are E-stablecoins And How Do They Operate?
What Are E-Stablecoins And How Do They Operate?
August 11, 2022
How to Choose a Legit Crypto Casino?
August 5, 2022
Spend Crypto
5 Ways to Spend Crypto
August 2, 2022
What Is A DAO LLC?
What Is A DAO LLC?
August 2, 2022
Can Running A Lightning Node Earn You Passive Income?
Can Running A Lightning Node Earn You Passive Income?
July 5, 2022


CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin23,312 0.14 % 2.48 % 0.46 %
Ethereum1,831.7 0.25 % 2.42 % 7.81 %
Tether1.000 0.12 % 0.05 % 0.20 %
USD Coin1.000 0.44 % 0.25 % 0.18 %
BNB306.15 0.07 % 3.34 % 5.95 %
XRP0.3806 0.89 % 0.71 % 3.14 %
Binance USD0.9989 0.29 % 0.35 % 0.25 %
Cardano0.5345 0.45 % 4.69 % 3.53 %
Solana42.12 0.56 % 2.22 % 3.81 %
Dogecoin0.08023 0.29 % 8.22 % 15.54 %

bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 23,385.00
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,832.50
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
usd-coin
USD Coin (USDC) $ 1.00
bnb
BNB (BNB) $ 306.58
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 0.379038
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 0.536655
binance-usd
Binance USD (BUSD) $ 1.00
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 40.47
dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.080531