Selling Corona vaccine on the Darknet


Selling Corona vaccine on the Darknet, criminals take advantage of Pandemic profits

The risk that vaccines will be stolen and diverted to the black market has made the pharmaceutical industry wary. Many dark site founders offered coronavirus vaccines for sale on the Darknet a few days after the COVID-19 injection was first approved in countries such as the United States and Britain for example.

Criminals are taking advantage of the global demand for vaccinations, one such offer is on the Deep Web, tracked by cybersecurity firm Check Point Software trying to pay $250 USD with a seller on a dark site that it says packages will be delivered stealthly in double packs. . Shipping from the US by post or a reputable courier company will cost you $20 USD, with an additional $5 USD for overnight delivery.

There are criminals on the Dark Net who claim this week they have a vaccine developed by Chinese manufacturers Sinopharm and Sinovac for sale for $750 Dollars for two doses, they accept payments in Bitcoin. The offer is illustrated with a stock photo, which does not match the normal packaging. When asked how vaccines should be stored, the seller suggests a cooler or refrigerator. 

Experts also say that many vaccines sold on the dark web are fake or will never be shipped. Similar offers have been posted by other blackmailers for months. But whether sellers have now gained access to the original product or not, the ads reflect the kind of criminal opportunism that experts warn will increase as demand for approved vaccinations exceeds supply next year.

Interpol and Europol this month warned of possible "attacks" of criminal activity linked to the COVID-19 vaccine, ranging from online fraud and cybercrime to theft and selling of fake or substandard doses. Even empty vaccine bottles, which can be refilled illegally, could be targeted, according to Europol. Counterfeit vaccines are a significant public health threat, "at least effective, and at worst toxic," he said.

Amy Shortman, pharmaceutical logistics expert at Overhaul, who deals with supply chain security, said "There will always be a market for people who don't necessarily have access to the drug and want to protect themselves and their families". He cited the black market that exists for chemotherapy drugs, even though they are difficult to administer. "There will be, globally, a lot of money for criminals to make."

The risk of vaccine being stolen or distributed to the Black Market has made the pharmaceutical industry very vigilant and prepared to support the largest global vaccination effort in history.

"We need to tell people at the vaccine center that they are carrying gold," said Thorsten Neumann, head of the European arm of Tapa's branch, the supply chain security association. "Criminals don't see vaccine payloads, they see money," he said highlighting the risk that supply chain workers with existing links to criminal networks could provide information to enable groups to target shipments.

The industry is ready. Efforts to improve safety in recent years have led manufacturers to conduct regular audits and inspections of the supply chain, as well as minimize contact, stoppage and direct handover during distribution.

"Pharmaceutical manufacturers already spend a lot of time making sure their products and supply chains are safe," said Chuck Forsaith, head of the Pharmaceutical Cargo Safety Coalition, an industry association. "I don't think any other industry in the world is ready for something like this."

Shipments are regularly equipped with real-time digital devices that measure temperature and location. The technology ensures the integrity of the supply chain, although it can also be a vulnerability.

While Forsaith said so far there appears to be no evidence of a physical attack on the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, many attacks online have been documented.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities have been hit by Phishing and Ransomware attacks since the pandemic began.

"We have seen highly targeted attacks related to vaccines," said Evangelos Ouzounis, head of the security infrastructure unit at Enisa, the European Union's Cybersecurity Agency. "The health sector is not very mature in terms of cybersecurity."

In one attack reported this December 2020, researchers at IBM discovered hackers had impersonated an executive at a Chinese ultra-cooling supplier in an attempt to steal logins and passwords.

Lack of access to a coronavirus vaccine in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, where health authorities prioritize those who are vulnerable or those working in certain industries, means the secondary market for credentials that allow individuals to skip lines is also likely to expand, according to the data firm. Experian.

"There have been offers and chatrooms of valid credentials from people with pre-existing conditions," said Michael Breummer, Experian's vice president of Data Breach Resolution. "You can pre-order for vaccinations on the dark web, so we think the dark web will only get busier."

Source: Financialpost.com 

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