COVID-19 Vaccine and Fake Vaccination Cards on the Internet

UMMATIMES - The COVID-19 vaccination campaign faces new challenges. COVID-19 vaccine and fake vaccination cards are circulating and being traded on the Dark Web. This was disclosed by cybersecurity firm Check Point Software, which claims to have found a number of offers for the Dark Web for the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

These fake COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination cards are sold at relatively high prices. For the COVID-19 vaccine, Check Point found the price could reach US $ 1000 per dose. Meanwhile, for fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, the price is approximately US $ 200 per sheet.

Please note, the Dark Web is the "deepest" side of the internet that is not detected by search engines such as Google and Bing. Generally, the Dark Web is used for cyber criminals to buy and sell dangerous and sensitive materials ranging from credit card numbers, narcotics, to cyber weapons such as viruses.

"Regarding vaccines, we don't know whether they are genuine or not. However, the vaccines look authentic from their packaging, labels and medical certificates," said Check Point's press statement, Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

Check Point continued, advertisements for sales of COVID-19 vaccines and fake vaccination cards increased by 300 percent in the last three months. Especially for fake vaccination cards, Check Point said that it is much sought after by those who are trying to find a new job or need to travel to another country without being vaccinated.

The fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are sold per order. The quality is almost the same as the real one so those who are not sensitive, said Check Point, can get away with it so easily. They estimate that illegal sellers on the Dark Web can produce hundreds to thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards per day.

"If you only need a negative COVID-19 certificate, it is also sold for US $ 25. You can also buy two and get one free," added Check Point.

Some experts have called the sale of the COVID-19 vaccine and fake vaccination cards inevitable. With access to the COVID-19 vaccine still unequal, the need for illegal vaccines and vaccination cards will increase.

"The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is still slow in various countries and people are tired of lockdowns or social restrictions. If they (citizens) can get vaccination cards easily to get past social restrictions, they will definitely look for it and the illegal market will fill it," said Michela Menting, cybersecurity expert from ABI Research.