In the last three months, there has been a sudden increase of 300% in the dark web advertisements for Covid vaccines, fake negative coronavirus test results and fake vaccination certificates, as the Check Point Research report states.
Back in January, the cyber threat intelligence unit of Check Point Research began tracking vaccine sales’ underground economy. The crew had discovered potentially fraudulent Covid vaccines being sold mainly for $500 per dosage to $1000 per dosage.
“It is one of the largest public health concerns we have identified in recent times,” Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the firm, told Insider.
Check Point Researcher’s most recent report had unearthed 1,200 vendors in multiple countries posing to have doses of Johnson & Johnson shots and the AstraZeneca shots, as well as the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and the Russian Sputnik vaccine.
Ahmed mentioned that some of these advertised shots could be synthetic fluids that are entirely detrimental to someone’s health. He had also warned that there is no way for verifying the legitimacy of the Covid vaccines bought on the darknet. The research had also noted that people are pretty desperate to receive a shot due to the greater liberty they would offer to the people.
In the United States, the Covid vaccines rolled out pretty poorly and slowly at the initial phase. Many Americans were not sure where they got fitted in the states’ priority groups and complicated the distribution process in most areas. Access to the coronavirus vaccine sign-ups that had primarily been conducted through the apps and websites increased the digital divide’s awareness. Some experts had revealed that this could now mean either life or death for some communities.
Ahmed had warned regarding signing up for or receiving Covid vaccines solely owing to the reason that you can finally access them. He said that it has to be from an authoritative source. Pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Rite Aid had partnered with the government for making Covid vaccines widely available. The mass vaccination site set up at the stadiums and other large scale venues is being organized via President Biden’s COVID response effort.
The Covid vaccines are not the only thing being sold on the darknet. Check Point Research report had also discovered vaccination cards added to the negative COVID-19 test results. The negative test results for Coronavirus are being peddled somewhere between $25 and $35. To make the payments untraceable, it is often made in Bitcoin (BTC).
Check Point Research had also spotted various ads for the CDC vaccination cards ranging in price from $150 to $200. People have shared pictures of their cards happily on different social media platforms. However, doing so enabled the dark web vendors to replicate the government-issued official cards, stated the report.
These Covid-19 vaccination cards had performed as the golden ticket for the cruises and countries abroad, asking for proof of vaccination or results concluding negative Covid tests. The CDC in the US urges the passengers entering the US after a flight to have a test ensuring negative Covid-19.
“In less than 24 hours, travelers can buy a negative COVID-19 test under deals of ‘buy 2 get the 3rd for free”, according to Check Point Research. “Travelers can also auto-generate a negative COVID-19 test result in less than 30 minutes for as low as $25.”
The Washington Post had reported that the State attorneys general had called on Twitter and Facebook to do more when reducing the spread of misinformation surrounding Covid vaccines. The information regarding the Coronavirus had rapidly spread via various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. These platforms are now taking serious action to update their policies and removing fake information on COVID-19 and Covid vaccines.
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