- Street: 4365 Pitfield Blvd
- City: St Laurent
- State: New Hampshire
- Country: Canada
- Zip/Postal Code: H4s 1h3
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify they got the shot.Security researchers have experienced a spike in listings on dark web marketplaces in recent weeks. The sites are advertising from vaccine doses to falsified vaccine certifications and negative test results. Currently, significantly more than 1,200 listings are offering a variety of vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, and Sinopharm.
Investigations by researchers at security firm Check Point have now 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 already been stored at the proper temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
The other day, Check Point researchers based in Israel attempted to buy the Sinopharm vaccine from 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 owner, who directed them to keep 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 get the shipment.
Dark web vendors are 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 purchase price for negative test results is as little as $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 in the act of creating a “digital green certificate” which they aspire to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents traveling across borders. In the US, proof vaccination could grant people usage of certain venues, and employers may require it of their staff to come back to the workplace.
The researchers have alerted Europol to the listing and are contacting others today.the Check Point spokesperson, stated that the sellers they contacted on dark web marketplaces were hoping to set up long-term relationships using their customers. The target dark0de market – https://babel-rental.com/author/clairmwc791/, he said, “are folks on the ground, people who are seeking to spread and sell at the local level in bulk.”
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