- Street: 98 Rue Isambard
- City: Fort-De-France
- State: Florida
- Country: France
- Zip/Postal Code: 97234
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify that they got the shot.Security researchers have observed 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, significantly more than 1,200 listings are offering many different 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 upsurge in such activity throughout the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even if 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 get the Sinopharm vaccine in one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and purchase the Chinese vaccine through one of the vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged the seller, who directed them to continue the negotiations on Telegram. Once there, the vendor 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 to receive the shipment.
Dark web vendors are most likely 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 cost for negative test results is only $25. Vaccination cards are harder ahead by and can sell 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 making a “digital green certificate” which they hope to roll out by June to permit its citizens and residents to visit across borders. In the US, proof of vaccination could grant people use of certain venues, and employers may require it of their employees 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 with their customers. The prospective darkode market – http://tyalkj.com/comment/html/?224708.html, he said, “are folks on a lawn, individuals who are looking to spread and sell at the area level in bulk.”
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