Along Comes the Black Market
Psst! Don’t want to wait any longer for a vaccine shot? Well if shelling out $500 is no big deal, you can skip the line and get a COVID-19 dose (overnight shipping not included).
Getting a vaccine from an anonymous source makes you a little edgy? Well, how about a counterfeit COVID-19 passport?
As Ars Technica reports, the dark web in recent weeks is bursting with black market COVID-19 vaccine passports.
Security researchers have seen a spike in listings on dark web marketplaces in recent weeks. The sites are advertising everything from vaccine doses to falsified vaccine certifications and negative test results. Currently, more than 1,200 listings are offering a variety of vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, and Sinopharm.
It’s unclear if the doses are legitimate, and even if they were, there’s no guarantee that the vials have been stored at the correct temperature, potentially rendering them useless.
With COVID-19 testing becoming more widespread, the price for negative test results is as low as $25. Vaccination cards are harder to come by and are selling for more, around $200. These certificates are becoming passports of sorts, allowing people a freedom of movement they haven’t enjoyed in months.
The European Union is in the process of creating a “digital green certificate” that they hope to roll out by June to allow its citizens and residents to travel across borders. In the US, proof of vaccination could grant people access to certain venues, and employers may require it of their employees to return to the workplace.
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