- Street: C.J. Conijnstraat 93
- City: Volendam
- State: Kansas
- Country: Netherlands
- Zip/Postal Code: 1131 Ea
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, a lot more than 1,200 listings are offering many different vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, and Sinopharm.
Investigations by researchers at security firm Check Point have already 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 though they were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have now been stored at the correct temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
A week ago, Check Point researchers located in Israel attempted to purchase the Sinopharm vaccine from vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and purchase the Chinese vaccine through one of the vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged the seller, 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 have received a FedEx shipping label, they have yet to receive 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 price for negative test results is as low as $25. Vaccination cards are harder ahead 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 act of making a “digital green certificate” that they desire to roll out by June allowing its citizens and residents to visit across borders. In the US, evidence of vaccination could grant people access to certain venues, and employers may require it of their staff to return 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 with their customers. The prospective dark0de market – https://pathta.jp/user/profile/16496620, he explained, “are folks on the ground, folks who are trying to spread and sell at the local level in bulk.”
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