As international travel has resumed, a new market is growing: counterfeit COVID tests and vaccine certificates. Dark web merchants are producing false official COVID certificates with a QR code for $138. They ensure that with this certificate, purchasers can cross borders, work, and avoid getting vaccinated.
Counterfeiters require 22 days to produce the document. The first “vaccination” appears in public services within about three days. The second appears after 21 days. To register, forgers need a clients’: full name, date of birth, medical insurance, telephone given to government services.
As of publishing, it is not clear how counterfeiters are creating the QR code. Forgeries can range from web pages seen in fake Israeli covid records or threat actors adding records to vaccine tracking services such as PharmaOutcomes (also known as Pinnacle) or the UK NHS.
Researchers have found evidence of forgeries of vaccine cards from the NHS and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alongside fake test certificates, all available for sale on the dark web and through easy-to-access platforms, like messaging apps WhatsApp, Telegram, and Jabber.
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