- Street: Prenzlauer Allee 31
- City: Leipzig
- State: Michigan
- Country: Germany
- Zip/Postal Code: 4189
Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify which they got the shot.Security researchers have observed 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, 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 upsurge in such activity during the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even if they certainly were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have been stored at the right temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
The other day, Check Point researchers located in Israel attempted to buy the Sinopharm vaccine from vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company. “We tried to negotiate and buy 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, the seller 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 for 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 cost for negative test results is only $25. Vaccination cards are harder ahead 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 making a “digital green certificate” which they desire to roll out by June to permit its citizens and residents traveling across borders. In the US, evidence of vaccination could grant people usage of certain venues, and employers may require it of their workers 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 create long-term relationships with their customers. The target darkode market (secondhandwale.com – https://secondhandwale.com/index.php?page=user&action=pub_profile&id=61723), he explained, “are folks on the floor, individuals who are trying to spread and sell at the neighborhood level in bulk.”
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