Pellegrini: If Security in E-signatures Violated, They Must Be Made Invalid

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 24 (TASR) – If a security threat is confirmed, the only possible solution in order provide protection for people using electronic signatures via an eID and not to destroy people’s confidence in the state’s electronic services completely will be to declare these signatures null and void immediately, stated Vice-premier for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) on Tuesday.

The vice-premier was responding to a recent scandal surrounding chip-embedded ID cards that have been found to be prone to hacking, meaning that electronic signatures could be forged.

Representatives of the relevant state authorities discussed the issue on Monday (October 23). According to Pellegrini, it’s up to the Interior Ministry, the National Security Authority and the certification body to inform the public in detail about what will happen next. “It will also be important to explain to the public how to act until a new secure solution is put in place,” said Pellegrini.

The Interior Ministry announced on Monday that it would temporarily deactivate all services that require electronic signatures. “We’ll suspend and deactivate the service of issuing guaranteed electronic signature certificates for eID cards. The Interior Ministry will keep all previously issued guaranteed electronic signatures valid for the time being, but deactivate all services requiring a guaranteed electronic signature as part of e-Government,” said ministry State Secretary Denisa Sakova.

Several Opposition parties as well as the coalition Most-Hid party have indicated that it’s essential for the Interior Ministry to carry out vital corrective measures in the system of electronic services and to provide detailed information about the issue to both the general and expert public. The Opposition even claims that in the case of vulnerable Slovak eID chips, the Government has betrayed public trust.