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Dark Web caught selling Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine passports

Covid-19 vaccines, vaccine passports and faked negative test papers are being sold on the darknet.

According to BBC Online Report, prices range between $500 (£360) and $750 for dosages of AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Sinopharm or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Fake vaccination certificates are also being sold by anonymous traders for as little as $150.

Researchers say they have seen a “sharp increase” in vaccine-related darknet adverts, while the BBC could not verify if the vaccines are real. The darknet, also known as the dark web, is a portion of the internet that is only accessible through specific browser tools.

Researchers at cyber-security company Check Point have monitored hacking forums and other marketplaces since January, when vaccine adverts first appeared.

They say the number of adverts they have seen has tripled to over 1,200.

Sellers of vaccines appear to be from the US, UK, Spain, Germany, France and Russia. The team found multiple adverts in Russian Cyrillic text and in English.

The vaccines advertised include the Oxford-AstraZeneca at $500, and Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik each at $600, and Sinopharm at $750.

One seller is offering next-day delivery, saying: “For overnight delivery/emergency leave us a message.”‘

Check Point is now urging countries to adopt a QR code system across all vaccine documentation to make forgeries more difficult.

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