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Spike In Fake Vaccine Certificates sold on the Darkweb

Spike In Fake Vaccine Certificates sold on the Darkweb

The number of fake vaccine certificates and Covid tests sold on the dark web increased drastically within the last few months. The demand for these items rises as we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

The number of vendors selling the fraudulent certificates increased from about 5 to nearly 200 within the last year. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd is keeping an out for these certificates and investigating further preventative methods.

The need for these certificates has increased globally for events, domestic and international flights, sports participation, and the list continues. These factors, along with some businesses requiring vaccinations for all employees, are all factors for the spike in Covid-19 vaccine certificates.

Vendors are found globally through the darknet. However, the focus seems to be on certificates from the US, Germany, Russia, India, UK, as well as the yellow International Vaccine Certificate.

The certificates sell for a whopping €250. This has proved lucrative to many vendors, though it has trapped many customers into being scammed as well.

German Vendor Arrested

A recent gang was arrested after selling these vaccine certificates on the darknet markets in Germany. Further investigations proved that the vaccinations being sold were in fact valid according to government systems. 

This suggests that their network was compromised in the making of these vaccination certificates.

The cyber security group that helped capture the individuals found a video of the gangs with a glimpse of their vendor’s dashboard. The video showed that the vendor had processed over 1700 sales amounting to about €425,000 in revenue in cryptocurrencies.

This creates a picture of why so many darknet vendors have jumped onto the vaccine certificate wagon.

The vendor’s shop, available on the darknet, claimed to be the only vendor to provide valid certifications and even provided a valid QR code of a fake person. Meaning that the gang had in fact infiltrated the EU COVID 19 certificate systems.

A crackdown on the Vendors

With large names such as Antonio Brown obtaining the Fake Covid-19 vaccination cards, people are made more aware of the vendors. The government plans to combat and crackdown on the vendors.

Spike In Fake Vaccine Certificates sold on the Darkweb

The availability of the certificates causes concerns as multiple unvaccinated individuals are attending events, posing a risk to themselves, and those around them. It also poses a risk for creating a new variant. 

Furthermore, this opens up the conversation of cyber security threats on government networks.

“We urge governments to come together and act quickly to combat the increased sales of fake certificates on Telegram and the Darknet, Without a central system, it becomes much easier for hackers and fraudsters to fall through the cracks,” said Oded Vanunu, head of products vulnerability research at Check Point Software. 

“Individuals must also remember that a QR code is nothing more than a quick and convenient way to access a website link; a link that in many cases they don’t even see.”

Vanuni explained that he understands that there will always be methods used to exploit government systems for personal gain. It is the governments job to place its own security measures to prevent these attacks from happening.

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