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Debunking Dark Web Miracle Cures for COVID-19

Author: Fernando Amatte, Director of Red Team Services, Latin America

We are experiencing a different life with many uncertainties. We know that many people take advantage of the fragility of many to earn money and offer miraculous products. Dark Web is no different.

Our director of Red Team Services for Latin America, Fernando Amatte, carried out an investigation on DarkWeb and found some interesting items that are worth sharing.

Fake Vaccines and Treatments

We start with the news published on April 28 by CNBC. The channel is dedicated to business news. They are reporting that Pfizer, the American pharmaceutical multinational is preparing to start producing vaccines for COVID-19.

The Internet is a box of surprises and when it comes to Dark Web, I am surprised at every visit.

Before the announcement of the probable start of production of the vaccine for COVID-19 scheduled for the end of 2020, there is already a sale of the vaccine for the Coronavirus on Dark Web. This has been going on for some time.

The seller explains that the research to develop a vaccine is expensive, and therefore the buyer needs to make a “generous” donation in bitcoins. The value is not specified, but a minimum value is defined so that you can have a basic service.

This same seller also explains that long emails, research questions or people asking for the product or answers will be ignored and the sender of the emails will be blocked. Additionally, inventories are still reported to be limited, and therefore orders will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Another provider offers the vaccine, for $500 per dose. The site also informs that it is for sale because the original value is $2,500.

The same is true for the remedy. Yes, there is a vaccine and medicine to treat COVID-19. At least on Dark Web! In both cases, “thinking about health”, the seller will question some points about the patient’s current health and ask for his medical history. Based on the information required and previously analyzed, the dose and prescription will be reported.

Another provider offers a kit to treat the disease, saying it has already been successfully tested on patients in Israel. The vendor reports that he is selling these kits for $2,000 each and explains that the kit itself has already cost $12,500. Finally, he sarcastically remarks, “Life is not cheap.”

Personal Protective Equipment

There are also offers of masks and cleaning solutions. The seller introduces himself as a provider of hospital supplies and reports that he wants ordinary people, in addition to health professionals, to have access to PPE. They make it clear that the masks are new and not stolen or of dubious origin.

Prices vary between EUR 89 and EUR 79 each package containing 10 masks. This value varies by manufacturer.

Insights

Dark Web may be far from most people but sharing Fake News on social media is very close to all of us. If we are all concerned about our health and fighting diseases, I suggest that we stay away from the offers on the Clear Web and Dark Web and that we trust the guidelines of formal health institutions. Today, what we must rely on to stop the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing and hand hygiene, not Dark Web cures.

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