New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) With several countries including the US and the UK now approving the use of the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, cybercriminals have sensed an opportunity to lure people to buy counterfeit medicines on the dark web, he said a report by cybersecurity company Check Point.
Researchers at Check Point said they had found a stream of posts on the dark from sources claiming to have a range of “coronavirus vaccines” or “coronavirus medicines” for sale.
The range of medicines advertised by these vendors is extensive, with one seller even showing vaccine availability for $ 250, the report said.
However, the researchers warned that the medicines advertised on the dark net were likely to be fake.
“All the vendors we found are demanding payment in bitcoin, as it reduces the chances of them being tracked, casting further doubt on the authenticity of the medicines they sell,” Check Point said in a blog post .
In communications with one vendor, they offered to sell an unspecified Covid-19 vaccine for 0.01 BTC (about $ 300), and claimed 14 doses were needed.
This advice contradicts official publications stating that some Covid vaccines require two shots, given 3 separate weeks, per person.
In this example, the seller claimed to have stocks of new vaccine approved by vaccine manufacturers available for sale and delivery from the UK, US and Spain.
Another vendor was found on the dark web offering chloroquine as a regular coronavirus “treatment”, for only $ 10 with the claim that “Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine for malaria that has been touched as a treatment for coronavirus.”
This follows statements by US President Donald Trump that touched on the use of hydroxychloroquine to keep coronavirus at bay, contrary to advice from his own public health officials.
Check Point researchers also warned that positive news about vaccine trials in November and imminent availability also led to a surge in new Covid-19-related web domains or vaccines being registered.
“Our data shows that since the beginning of November, there have been 1,062 new domains containing the word ‘vaccine’ registered, of which 400 also contain ‘covid’ or ‘corona’. Six of these sites were found to be ‘suspicious’, ”said Check Point.
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