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Stolen Covid-19 vaccines being sold on Dark web

By Noir July 6, 2021, 4:03 p.m.

Stolen Covid-19 vaccines being sold on Dark web for Bitcoin have been stolen and doctored respectively. Dark web vendors are now taking advantage of the covid-19 situation in order to sell counterfeit vaccines and certificates.

Stolen Covid-19 vaccines and certificates being sold on the dark web for Bitcoin.

If you thought that the Covid-19 pandemic was only a big win for Elon Musk, then I feel sorry for you. Okay, it's no big deal, but you need to hear this. A new report reveals that dark web vendors are the latest beneficiaries.

Using computer technology, some smart brains have doctored fake Covid-19 certificates. And they are  selling them on the black market, besides stolen vaccines.

Adverts on hacking forums and black markets

The number of adverts for these commodities have tripled since they were released to the market in January. According to researchers at a cyber security company, which has been monitoring these forums, the number is now more than 1,200. This is far much beyond what was there at the start of the year.

Most sellers are based in the UK, US, Spain, Germany, France, and Russia. Infact, several adverts have been found both in English and in Russian Cyrillic text. Some adverts offer next day delivery of the vaccines while others offer certificates for negative Covid-19  tests. Are there free offers for buyers? Yes. If you buy two certificates, you get one for free.

The fake certificates are offered at prices as low as $150 while the prices for the vaccines range between $500 to $750. Sinopharm goes for the highest price, which is $750, while Oxford-AstraZeneca is the cheapest. The price for Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik is somewhere around $600.

Preference for cryptocurrency

The dealers prefer payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, ether, dash, litecoin, monero, among others. Reason being, they like the anonymity and ubiquity of the top cryptocurrencies and are taking advantage.

Remember, these privacy coins have proven to be the safest ways of payment in the black market. They enable the dealers to conduct a trusted transaction without knowing the other person's identity. For example, in Bitcoin, the transaction remains private and only the wallet ID is shared. Consequently, it's easy to enter black market and get involved in the purchase and buying of illegal goods like the fake certificates.

Trade on the black market

It's therefore no surprise that trade on the black market is flourishing and doing so well, more than it was a few years ago. Coninfirm reported that one Bitcoin address had just received funds from the sale of some of the fake certificates. The certificates were for an exchange registered in Hong Kong, though much information wasn't revealed.

Countries to adopt a QR code system
Due to these fake certificates being sold online, countries are now being advised to adopt a QR code system. If done across all vaccine documentation, it will reduce the number of forgeries.

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