Cybersecurity Experts Warn of Fake COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments on Dark Web

Cybersecurity Experts Warn of Fake COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments on Dark Web

A new report by cybersecurity firm Check Point has revealed that cybercriminals are trying to lure people into purchasing fake remedies on the dark web. This comes as countries like the UK and the U.S. have approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. 

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Researchers elaborated that they have uncovered a wide range of posts on the dark web from sources that claim to have “coronavirus vaccines” or “coronavirus remedies” for sale. It is said that these vendors on the darknet advertised several medicines while charging up to $250 for this fake vaccine. 

The researchers have warned people from falling prey to such advertisements on the darknet, given the seriousness of the matter. “All of the vendors we found insist on payment in bitcoin, as it minimises the chance of them being traced, casting further doubt on the authenticity of the medicines they are selling,” Check Point’s blog post read.

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The firm also said that positive news about vaccine trials in November and its subsequent availability in the U.S. and UK has led to an increase in the creation of web domains pertaining to COVID-19 or vaccines.

“Our data shows that since the beginning of November there were 1,062 new domains which contain the word 'vaccine' that were registered, out of which 400 also contain 'covid' or 'corona'. Six of these sites were found to be 'suspicious',” Check Point added.

Another ad found on the dark web was pertaining to Hydroxychloroquine, selling for $10, claiming it is “a medicine for malaria that has been touted as a treatment for coronavirus.”

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