- Street: Luebeckertordamm 29
- City: Simmelsdorf
- State: Wisconsin
- Country: Germany
- Zip/Postal Code: 91245
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 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 escalation in such activity over the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even if they were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have been stored at the correct temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
The other day, Check Point researchers located in Israel attempted to get the Sinopharm vaccine from one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and buy the Chinese vaccine through one of many 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 have received a FedEx shipping label, they have yet for 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 only $25. Vaccination cards are harder in the future by and are available 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” they aspire to roll out by June allowing its citizens and residents to travel across borders. In the US, proof vaccination could grant people use of certain venues, and employers may require it of their staff to come 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 create long-term relationships with their customers. The prospective darkode market [mingletag.com – https://www.mingletag.com/author/linarausch5/], he said, “are folks on a lawn, people who are seeking to spread and sell at the neighborhood level in bulk.”
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