- Street: 6 Tonbridge Rd
- City: Coppenhall
- State: Arizona
- Country: Guadeloupe
- Zip/Postal Code: St18 9gu
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 everything 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 over the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even though these were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have been stored at the proper temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
Last week, Check Point researchers situated in Israel attempted to purchase the Sinopharm vaccine from one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and purchase the Chinese vaccine through one of many vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged owner, 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 have received a FedEx shipping label, they have 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 cost for negative test results is only $25. Vaccination cards are harder to come 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 in the process of creating a “digital green certificate” which they aspire to roll out by June allowing 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 employees to go 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 setup long-term relationships using their customers. The mark darkode market (grupodac.info – https://grupodac.info/component/k2/item/1/1.html?limitstart=0), he said, “are folks on the ground, people that are trying to spread and sell at the neighborhood level in bulk.”
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