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Hackers start forging ‘official’ vaccination certificates on Darknet

Hackers start forging ‘official’ vaccination certificates on Darknet

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As more people get vaccinated, Check Point Research (CPR) spots a new trend where hackers have begun to offer fake vaccination certificates impersonating official entities on the darknet. Advertisements selling alleged coronavirus vaccines have spiked 300% in the last three months and expanded to offer Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, SinoPharm brands for as low as US$500.

In January 2021, CPR first reported on its observation of hundreds of advertisements on the Darknet purporting to sell the vaccine for as low as US$500. The number of adverts has now more than tripled to 1,200. And according to researchers, activity on the Darknet has expanded to offer fake vaccination cards from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for US$200 a pop. Other activities include offers to buy fake negative COVID-19 tests under ‘buy two get the third for free’ deals, as well as a DIY version of a negative COVID-19 test that can be generated in less than 30 minutes for as low as US$25. The Darknet now sells services on all types of certificates related to coronavirus – tests and vaccinations

In addition, the darknet is the part of the internet that isn’t visible to search engines, where hackers exchange resources, such as stolen credit card numbers, drugs, cyber weapons, software that helps break into people’s computers – and now, coronavirus services.

A range of counterfeit coronavirus vaccines are being offered on the Darknet for as low as US$500 a dose. The vaccines advertised include:

  • Oxford – AstraZeneca at US$500,
  • Johnson & Johnson at US$600
  • Russian Sputnik vaccine at US$600
  • Chinese SINOPHARM vaccine at US$500

CPR has provided visual examples of each brand of vaccine advertisement in its latest publication.

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