COVID-19 Vaccines Sales Thriving on Dark Web—Kaspersky

March 5, 2021
covid-19 Dark Web

By Adedapo Adesanya

Cybersecurity giant, Kaspersky, has warned that scammers have started selling unverified COVID-19 vaccines on the dark market.

It noted that the entire globe is currently undergoing one of the largest and most complex vaccination campaigns in history and, not surprisingly, scammers and sellers have been eager to make a profit off the process.

Kaspersky researchers examined 15 different marketplaces on the Darknet and found advertisements for three major COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.

According to the report, the majority of sellers came from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America (USA) and the prices per dose ranged from $250 to $1,200, with an average cost of about $500.

The cybersecurity outfit noted that communications are made via encrypted messaging apps like Wickr and Telegram, while payments are requested in the form of cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin.

Kaspersky warned that the majority of these underground sellers have made between 100-500 transactions, indicating that they’ve been completing sales but what exactly Darknet users are purchasing remains unclear.

The company noted, “With the information available to Kaspersky experts, it’s impossible to tell how many of the doses of the vaccine being advertised online are actual doses (many medical facilities have found themselves with leftover doses and how many advertisements are a scam.

“Even if you did receive something in the mail, most likely what you would receive would not be an effective, valid dose. More importantly, obtaining such doses is illegal.”

Speaking on this, Mr Dmitry Galov, a security expert at Kaspersky said, “You can find just about anything on the Darknet, so it’s not surprising sellers there would attempt to capitalise on the vaccination campaign. Over the past year, there have been a whole host of scams exploiting the COVID-19 topic, and many of them have been successful.

“Right now, not only are people selling vaccine doses, but they’re also selling vaccination records – pieces of paper that can help you travel freely.

“It’s important for users to be cautious of any “deal” related to the pandemic, and, of course, it’s never a good idea to buy a vaccine off the Darknet,” he added.

Kaspersky offered that people stay safe from scammers at the time of COVID, noting that experts recommend: “Never buy products – including vaccine doses – on the Darknet.

“If you see an advertisement for something related to COVID, look carefully at the URLs of the sites that you visit. If just one letter looks out of place, or if the usual .com has been replaced with or something along those lines, your gut should tell you it’s phishing. Never enter personal information on such a site.

“Pay attention to grammar and layout on both the sites you visits and the emails you receive. If something smells phishy, it probably is.”

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise are constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe.

The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Leave a Reply

Lagos Taxi Scheme
Previous Story

Lagos Unveils Taxi Scheme for Better Commuting

Keystone Bank Ikotun Branch
Next Story

Excitement as Keystone Bank Reopens Ikotun Lagos Branch

Latest from World