- Street: 92 Bourke Crescent
- City: Mitre
- State: Oklahoma
- Country: Australia
- Zip/Postal Code: 3409
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify which they got the shot.Security researchers have seen a spike in listings on dark web marketplaces in recent weeks. The sites are advertising everything from vaccine doses to falsified vaccine certifications and negative test results. Currently, more than 1,200 listings are offering a number of vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, and Sinopharm.
Investigations by researchers at security firm Check Point have already been monitoring the sites for Covid-19-related activity since January, and they report a three-fold increase in such activity during the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even when they were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have now been stored at the right temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
A week ago, Check Point researchers based in Israel attempted to purchase the Sinopharm vaccine from one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and buy the Chinese vaccine through one of many vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged the vendor, who directed them to carry on the negotiations on Telegram. Once there, owner provided reassurances that the vaccine doses were legitimate. The researchers sent $500 to a Bitcoin wallet, and while they’ve received a FedEx shipping label, they’ve yet for the shipment.
Dark web vendors are probably doing better business selling falsified vaccine cards and negative test results. “Lately, we’re seeing more vaccination certificates being offered” than vaccines, Ahmed said. “It’s probably a two-to-one ratio.”
With COVID-19 testing becoming more widespread, the purchase price for negative test results is only $25. Vaccination cards are harder ahead by and are selling for more, around $200. These certificates are becoming passports of sorts, allowing people a freedom of movement they haven’t enjoyed in months. The European Union is along the way of creating a “digital green certificate” that they desire to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents to visit across borders. In the US, evidence of vaccination could grant people use of certain venues, and employers may require it of their staff to return to the workplace.
The researchers have alerted Europol to the listing and are contacting others today.the Check Point spokesperson, said that the sellers they contacted on dark web marketplaces were hoping to create long-term relationships making use of their customers. The goal Dark0de market – http://fridayad.in/user/profile/877332, he explained, “are folks on the ground, people that are seeking to spread and sell at the neighborhood level in bulk.”
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