Dark Web drug dealers turn to selling face masks and unregistered testing kits in bid to cash in on coronavirus pandemic

Dark Web drug dealers have resorted to selling face masks and fake coronavirus testing kits amid the pandemic.

Account Users that normally advertise illegal substances are currently offering personal protective equipment (PPE), unverified antibody testing kits, and medications instead.

One is selling a Box of 1,000 surgical face masks for just over £3,000, while another offers ‘very powerful’ drugs that promise to deal with COVID-19.

The number of illegal drugs being smuggled into the UK has dropped in the face of worldwide lock-down conditions, driving up prices, according to the National Crime Agency.

Traders are disguising themselves as crucial Workers to attempt and prevent detection when out on the road. Still, a lot of them are working online, specialists from security company Digital Shadows said.

Threat Research analyst Alex Guirakhoo explained: Cyber criminals who typically engage in the sale of illegal drugs have seen the opportunity to diversify their listings to include sales of face masks, hand sanitizer, and even chloroquine on popular cybercriminal marketplaces such as Empire.

For those vendors not involved At the sale of personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19-related provisions also have been used for marketing their drug sales.

Listings which include terms like ‘coronavirus sale!’ Alongside hefty discounts are now common on all significant cybercriminal forums and marketplaces.

This is probably an effort to maintain their Companies going and attract clients who have been financially affected by the pandemic.

It is also Realistically possible that cybercriminals are trying to capitalize on customers affected by a shield in place orders.

If people can’t physically meet their traders, they may be enticed to buy drugs on the dark web.’

Digital Shadows analysts have seen users of English and Russian language forums considering how to cash in, with one asking:’Who believes what about that? The way to get the most benefit from quarantine? It won’t be forever.’

Earlier this week, the NCA cautioned that there was £1.8 million of fraud connected to the pandemic.

It’s shut down six domain names since the outbreak of the virus to prevent cyber attackers from attempting to steal private data.

Investigators Also took down a site seeking to lure customers into purchasing non-existent PPE and arrested two men on suspicion of illegally selling COVID-19 testing kits and making false promises about their effectiveness.

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1 year ago
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Interesting article, thanks.