Price of coronavirus vaccine dose averages $500 on ‘darknet’, experts say
A single dose of the coronavirus vaccine on the darknet costs $500 on average, the Kaspersky Lab said in a statement on Thursday.
"Searching 15 marketplaces, Kaspersky experts found advertisements for three major COVID vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna. They also found some advertisements for unverified vaccines. Prices per dose range from $250 to $1,200, averaging around $500," Kaspersky Lab said.
According to the experts, sellers primarily come from France, Germany, the UK, and the USA. Payments are mainly required in bitcoins. Judging by the analysis of transactions, many of the authors of the ads detected by Kaspersky Lab performed from 100 to 500 transactions.
"It is impossible to say definitely whether the offers to sell vaccines on the darknet are a scam or whether buyers really get what they are looking for. There were positive reviews under some of these ads. We can assume that as a result of part of these transactions, people did buy the right product. Theoretically, this is possible, since unused doses are sometimes left in medical institutions around the world when the vaccine package is opened," Dmitry Galov, cyber security expert at Kaspersky Lab, said.
Fake vaccination certificates are also sold on the black market. For example, a European-style document costs about $20-25. In some countries, a free from COVID-19 certificate is required for going to the office or on business trips and vacation trips. In the Russian-speaking segment of the darknet, its cost is estimated at 3,500-5,000 rubles ($47-67).