Researchers from Australian National University have said that criminals are selling fake vaccines claiming to be prepared from the blood of supposedly recovered COVID-19 patients on the darknet. The researchers disclosed 645 listings of the COVID-19 related products across 12 darknet markets. The most readily available for sale on the darknet markets were the personal protective equipment (PPEs), thought to be stolen from factories.
The coronavirus pandemic has built a gold mine for cybercriminals vexing to woo innocent buyers with so-called cures and defensive medicines that in reality are just anything from amphetamines to marijuana and cost all over between $99 and $25,000.
Cybersecurity researchers from Australian National University have disclosed several marketplaces on the dark web where so-called fake coronavirus vaccines, are up for sale at high prices.
The dark web exists on darknets, and require specific software, or authorization to access, making it easier for users to hide their real identities. As such, these become an ideal fishing ground for cybercriminals.
Kumar Ritesh, founder, and chief executive at Cyfirma, cyber intelligence platform said most of these scams are done by cybercriminals through social media platforms, and were initially targeted at European internet users. Kumar Ritesh added it started around early April targeting Italian and French users. Persons who visit this kind of platform will end up downloading malicious software that can track their online activities and steal personal information such as passwords and other important things.
Facebook, Twitter, and Google are taking several measures to ensure that the World Health Organization and ICMR links are shown on these sites to avoid misinformation to the users. But experts say, these cybercriminals have been successful in bypassing the safety measures, and are easily targeting victims.
According to the Cyfirma report, these cybercriminals are from North Korea, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States, with payments made via bitcoins.