- Street: Sondervanget 97
- City: Kobenhavn K
- State: Alaska
- Country: Denmark
- Zip/Postal Code: 1164
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify they got the shot.Security researchers have seen 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, a lot 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 during the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even though they certainly were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have already been stored at the proper 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 among the vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged owner, who directed them to keep the negotiations on Telegram. Once there, the seller 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 have 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 purchase price for negative test results is as low 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 process of fabricating a “digital green certificate” 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 use of certain venues, and employers may require it of their staff to go 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 setup long-term relationships with their customers. The target darkode market, plc.go.th – http://plc.go.th/mueang/index.php/2017-08-01-07-11-29/-/index.php?option=com_kide,, he said, “are folks on a lawn, people that are seeking to spread and sell at the local level in bulk.”
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