Amid the speculations of the pandemic entering its second year, the desperation among the general public for COVID 19 vaccine has increased to such an
Amid the speculations of the pandemic entering its second year, the desperation among the general public for COVID 19 vaccine has increased to such an extent that fake vaccines have started coming up in black markets with a promise to build an immunity against the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Hundreds of domains over darkNet have been seen selling the coronavirus vaccine at prices as high as $250.
The latest report by a global cyber security firm, Check Point Research stated that a few sources that have been claiming to have an array of coronavirus vaccines and remedies for sale have been found by them. The range of advertisements for selling Coronavirus vaccine or remedies is huge, some even include selling a vaccine against the coronavirus made from Chloroquine Phosphate. These findings by the global cybersecurity firm CheckPoint Research are quite in tangent with the cyber report released by the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU), Europol. Europol had issued an early warning notification last week asking the citizens of the European Union to be careful of fraudulent advertisements claiming to sell remedy or vaccine against the novel coronavirus as if the vaccine against the novel coronavirus has not become available in the market, it certainly will not be made available online. The notification also read that many fraudulent pharmaceutical products were being advertised by malicious websites and domains as an alleged cure to COVID 19 and were being sold online.
The report released by Check Point Research read that all the vendors that were involved with the dealings related to the selling of the COVID 19 vaccine over DarkNet insisted on payment in Bitcoins which would automatically minimize the chances of being traced. The vendors offered to sell the unspecified Covid 19 vaccine for 0.01 BTC or $300 approximately and claimed that fourteen doses would be required in order for the vaccine to be fully effective against the Novel Coronavirus. These factors have cast a number of doubts over the authenticity of the vaccine being sold by them as their claim of taking fourteen doses is a clear cut contradiction of the advice given by the official announcements which stated that the vaccines would require just two shots that would have to be given three weeks apart, per person.
The positive news of vaccine trials and high efficacy and efficiency of these vaccines along with imminent availability led to a spike in the creation of fresh web domains related to COVID 19 or vaccines. Since the beginning of November, over a thousand domains have been registered that contain the word vaccine. Out of these thousand new domains, around four hundred contain the word corona or covid. It has also been noted that besides finding ways to sell the fake vaccines over the darknet, these cybercriminals have also been using news related to the coronavirus vaccines as bait for their phishing campaigns.
Some emails were carrying files ending with the extension .exe with the name ‘Download_Covid 19 New approved vaccines.23.07.2020.exe’. These files have been termed as malicious as when downloaded, it will install software called InfoStealer that is capable of stealing login information, usernames, and passwords to enable threat actors to subsequently take over the account.