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Vendors are cashing in on people desperate to leapfrog the line—or falsely certify 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, 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 upsurge in such activity over the last three months. It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even when these 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 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 one of the vendors,” he told Ars. The team messaged owner, who directed them to carry on the negotiations on Telegram. Once there, the vendor provided reassurances that the vaccine doses were legitimate. The researchers sent $500 to a Bitcoin wallet, and darkode reborn – talking to – http://www.enfchurch.com/forums/users/alvinwhiting/, while they’ve received a FedEx shipping label, they’ve 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 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 fabricating a “digital green certificate” that they desire to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents to visit 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, said that the sellers they contacted on dark web marketplaces were hoping to set up long-term relationships with their customers. The prospective market, 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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