- Street: Augsburger Stra?E 5
- City: Ludenscheid Freisenberg
- State: Indiana
- Country: Germany
- Zip/Postal Code: 58513
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 everything from vaccine doses to falsified vaccine certifications and negative test results. Currently, 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 if these were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have been stored at the proper temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
The other day, Check Point researchers based in Israel attempted to purchase the Sinopharm vaccine in one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and purchase the Chinese vaccine through among the vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged owner, who directed them to continue the negotiations on Telegram. Once there, owner 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 get 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 purchase price for negative test results is as low as $25. Vaccination cards are harder to come 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 creating a “digital green certificate” which they hope to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents to visit across borders. In the US, proof vaccination could grant people access to certain venues, and employers may require it of their workers 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 dark0de market (ads.zibashahr.com – https://ads.zibashahr.com/author/gspdominga9/), 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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