- Street: Koetsdrift 45
- City: Nieuwegein
- State: Connecticut
- Country: Netherlands
- Zip/Postal Code: 3436 Xr
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify that they got the shot.Security researchers have seen a spike in listings on dark web marketplaces in recent weeks. The sites are advertising sets from vaccine doses to falsified vaccine certifications and negative test results. Currently, significantly 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 been monitoring the sites for Covid-19-related activity since January, and they report a three-fold increase in such activity throughout the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even when these were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have already been stored at the proper temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
Last week, Check Point researchers located in Israel attempted to buy the Sinopharm vaccine from one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and choose 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 have received a FedEx shipping label, they’ve yet to receive 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 cost for negative test results is as low as $25. Vaccination cards are harder ahead by and are available 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 process of fabricating a “digital green certificate” that they desire to roll out by June to permit its citizens and residents to travel across borders. In the US, proof of vaccination could grant people usage of certain venues, and employers may require it of their employees to come back 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 set up long-term relationships with their customers. The prospective dark0de market – http://www.marhabaholidays.co.ke/index.php/component/k2/itemlist/user/3780020, he explained, “are folks on the floor, people who are seeking to spread and sell at the area level in bulk.”
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