Veracity Protocol’s security technology identifies real N95 masks from fake replicas

Veracity Protocol
4 min readMay 5, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacts supply chains, industries, and economies around the world, criminals are seizing this opportunity to profit in any way they can — even at the expense of innocent lives. From March 3–10, 2020, police, customs, and health authorities from 90 countries took part in Operation Pangea, a collective action against fraudulent medical sales online. Led by Interpol, Operation Pangea seized more than $14M USD worth of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals, among them substandard hand sanitizers, unauthorized antiviral medications, and 34,000+ counterfeit surgical masks.

It doesn’t stop there. Countries desperate to purchase more protective gear are finding themselves tangled in meticulous fraudulent schemes involving fake invoices and non-existent face masks. Australia, for instance, managed to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) only to discover that 800,000 were faulty.


The WCO reminds the general public to exercise extreme caution when purchasing critical medical supplies from unknown sources, particularly online. The use of these goods may cost lives,” directly stated by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

Amidst the increasing danger of counterfeits, tech-security startup Veracity Protocol can successfully combat these fraudsters’ attempts and help consumers and companies regain control of their authentic medical equipment.

We enable the verification of authentic PPE

To help fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Veracity Protocol is ready to apply its tech by enabling tracking and authenticity verification for PPE and other medical supplies.

In collaboration with global partners, we’re working on various solutions with one simple goal — to protect human lives. The sales of fake and defective equipment and pharmaceuticals have been posing an ongoing threat that is becoming even more apparent now.

We’ve trained our AI model to understand what the material characteristics of a genuine item looks like. This allows anyone to verify the authenticity of that item using only their smartphone.

Watch our video on how our solution can work with an authentic N95 respirator mask

How it works

Every physical object has its own unique material structure and manufacturing characteristics. Using any camera (including smartphones), we capture these characteristics and create a tamper-proof Physical Code™. This allows anyone to verify an item’s identity, authenticity, detect anomalies, and check for tampering.

Our augmented reality feature recognizes the mask’s shape and automatically takes the photos needed for verification.
The user obtains a clear result about the mask’s condition and security in a matter of seconds.

Applicable across industries for mass-scale protection

For PPE where individual item identity may be less important than general authenticity, we will use our Batch Protection approach to protect items on a product line-basis. To create a Batch Physical Code™, we would train the algorithm by capturing a few dozen samples of authentic N95 masks. This would later allow anyone to point their smartphone at the item, check whether it comes from the actual manufacturer, and ultimately determine if it is safe to use. This is the solution’s power of scalability — a small number of samples makes it possible to protect all of the items, regardless of how many have been produced.

Fakes will continue as long as COVID-19 does

It’s difficult to believe that the instances of counterfeits will decrease without the implementation of a transparent security solution across all industries.

Operation Pangea shows that criminals will stop at nothing to make a profit. The illicit trade in such counterfeit medical items during a public health crisis shows their total disregard for people’s wellbeing, or their lives,” said Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL’s Secretary General.

Veracity Protocol provides an end-to-end tracking and authentication solution to empower companies, manufacturers, and consumers while protecting people’s lives. When PPE and medicine can finally be secured, countries and consumers will be able to rest assured that what they purchase is truly authentic.

Connect with us

Veracity Protocol is an award-winning startup that builds a Vision AI Standard to protect people and products in the digital world. The standard guarantees the highest level of trust and security for verifying the identity, authenticity, and integrity of physical objects using a smartphone.

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