Fake COVID-19 vaccines are being promoted in Dark Web market
According to Resecurity, a Los Angeles-based cybersecurity company, the Dark Web market is currently overloaded with illegal pharmacy offerings related to COVID-19 vaccines and various illegal services related to vaccinations.
Threat actors are now cashing in on the global pandemic and have started capitalizing on slow vaccine rollouts. These actors are selling fake or empty blanks of COVID-19 vaccination record cards along with counterfeit products.
Undercover police operations around the world have discovered fake covert 19 jabs claiming to be Pfizer and AstraZeneca on the dark web.
In the majority of the observed cases, cybercriminals are profiting from scamming people interested in buying the vaccines (without actually shipping anything) due to the extremely high demand and attention to COVID-19 globally.
Consumers should be careful when buying anything online, especially related to COVID-19, as official vaccines are not currently approved by selling online, and could be applied only by certified healthcare organizations having proper accreditation and specialists.
WHAT IS HAPPENING
From toilet paper brawls to empty supermarket shelves these are memories that will forever remind us of how desperate we have become during the pandemic but, what has been discovered is perhaps the most alarming sign yet that people’s patience has all but run out.
Customers surfing on the dark web are prepared to do almost anything in the hope of saying goodbye to the virus for good.
This has become desperate times, and covid-19 has infected the world in such a way that people may be desperate enough to try to purchase the covid-19 vaccine online.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer are the two main vaccines on offer in cyber underground, and actors are claiming that these vaccines are from America or mainly international.
Each vaccine online has detailed product descriptions and states to be highly effective at preventing covid-19.
Most of these threat actors are actually even telling the buyer how to administer the vaccine so that the buyer will think they are purchasing a legitimate product.
Some of the vaccines are so cheap that some people might take the gamble and risk paying the money as some vaccines are being sold as little as $40. Notably, the threat actors prefer to get paid in cryptocurrency in order to stay anonymous.
In many cases, the victim has placed an order and paid for a product that actually does not exist or is in fact just salty water in the bottle.
Police have now urged the public to be patient and wait their turn to be vaccinated. It is impossible to vaccinate everyone at once and this is one of the largest peacetime logistic efforts that the world has ever done.
The message here is clear. People should rely on their doctor and pharmacist for pharmaceutical medication, not the dark web.
This is just another example of criminals attempting to take advantage of the community in what has become very trying times.
Interpol has issued a public warning reiterating that legitimate vaccines are not for sale after police in China and South Africa seized thousands of fake covert vaccine doses.
Counterfit Covid-19 Documents On Sale in the Darkweb Increases Fear of Cross-border Virus Spread.
Countries around the world are accelerating the vaccination process to win the fight against the virus.
Many countries are already planning on introducing these vaccine passports to ease travel, with the goal to force everyone to have the vaccine.
A vaccine passport is a recognised document that proves the holder is vaccinated and can now travel. But contrary to popular belief, this has now given birth to a new industry – the sale of fake vaccine passports on the dark web
These fake documents have allowed buyers to masquerade as vaccinated healthy individuals.
Apart from the fake vaccination documents, there are now even forged negative COVID-19 test results that are also being sold on the dark web.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Sold at just $250, the forgers ask for buyers’ details to create fake vaccination documents.
Further fake vaccination documents are also available for various different vaccines. This helps the forgers make the documents for the vaccine, which is likely to be in use in the buyers’ countries.
The buyers are then free to use these fake documents in their digital or printed formats to convince authorities that they are covid free.
Reports say that the darknet advertisements for COVID-19 vaccines have increased by over 300 percent.
WHO ARE THE CUSTOMERS
These are reportedly being purchased by people seeking to board flights, cross borders and attend events. Even people who do not believe in the vaccine are purchasing this to convince authorities that they are healthy.
The fake documents risk spreading the virus to more people across the world. This is especially a concern for countries where vaccine rollout is yet to take place.
The use of fake documents also endangers people who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons.
People who are buying and misusing these fake documents are endangering their own and those around them.
According to the FBI’s latest Internet Crime Report (IC3), US businesses alone lost more than $1.8 billion to business email compromise in 2020, while ransomware costs tripled, and phishing attacks doubled. From ransomware attacks to COVID-19 scams, 2020 was one of the worst years on record for cybercrime.