- Street: Ul. Jagiellonska 6
- City: Bytom
- State: Arizona
- Country: Poland
- Zip/Postal Code: 41-902
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 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 if they were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have been stored at the correct temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
Last week, Check Point researchers based in Israel attempted to purchase the Sinopharm vaccine from one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and choose the Chinese vaccine through among the 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’ve 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 cost for negative test results is as low as $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 along the way of making a “digital green certificate” they desire to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents traveling across borders. In the US, evidence of vaccination could grant people use of 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 setup long-term relationships making use of their customers. The goal dark0de market – https://barahlo.net/user/profile/49735, he said, “are folks on a lawn, people that are trying to spread and sell at the local level in bulk.”
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