Hacker Takes Down Vaccine Marketplace, Steals Cryptocurrency Worth $752,000

Covid Vaccine Marketplace Darknet Hacked
Image credit: Check Point Research

A cyber criminal has hacked into an illegal Covid-19 vaccine marketplace being run on the dark net and stolen Bitcoins worth $752,000, says Check Point Research who has been keeping an eye on this market since November 2020.

A post on the marketplace’s forum states that the hacker tricked the system by creating fake orders, canceling these orders using their seller account and immediately withdrawing the refunds in the form of cryptocurrency. They managed to get away with 13 Bitcoins using this tactic.

Although this particular marketplace was down at the time of reporting the news, the sale of goods and services related to Covid-19 is still thriving in the underbelly of the Internet. A hacking forum on the same web address selling vaccines and vaccination documents was allegedly up and running soon enough.

Not only are vaccines and spurious ‘vaccine passport’ certificates being offered for cheap on the dark web, so are fake negative Covid-19 test results. Dark net ads for Covid-19 vaccines have increased by over 300% in the past three months.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca and Chinese SINOPHARM vaccines are each being flogged for $500, while the Johnson & Johnson and Russian Sputnik vaccines can be bought for $600 each, according to Check Point Research.

The sellers of these shots are said to be mainly based in the US, Germany, France, Spain and Russia. Counterfeit documentary proof of vaccination can be purchased for as low as $250 on the dark net. Fake negative test results are being sold starting at $25 here.

Who’s buying these vaccine-related goods and services? There appears to be a high demand for them from people who need to cross borders, go on tours, start new jobs, attend events and so on.