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Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify which they got the shot.Security researchers have seen 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, more than 1,200 listings are offering a variety 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 throughout the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even when they certainly 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 based in Israel attempted to purchase the Sinopharm vaccine from 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 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 get 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 as little as $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 making a “digital green certificate” they aspire to roll out by June to permit its citizens and residents to visit across borders. In the US, proof of vaccination could grant people usage of certain venues, and employers may require it of their workers 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 setup long-term relationships with their customers. The goal dark0de market – https://usedcars.com.ph/author/adelag27856, he said, “are folks on the floor, individuals who are looking to spread and sell at the local level in bulk.”
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