- Street: Via Delle Mura Gianicolensi 113
- City: Casale
- State: District of Columbia
- Country: Italy
- Zip/Postal Code: 81030
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify which 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, 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 already been monitoring the sites for Covid-19-related activity since January, and they report a three-fold increase 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 now been stored at the proper temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
The other day, Check Point researchers situated 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 owner, who directed them to keep 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’ve 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 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 in the process of making a “digital green certificate” they aspire to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents to visit across borders. In the US, proof vaccination could grant people usage 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 making use of their customers. The target dark0de market (bluedoorartcenter.org – https://bluedoorartcenter.org/heres-quick-way-solve-darkode-reborn-problem), he said, “are folks on the ground, folks who are trying to spread and sell at the local level in bulk.”
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