How Dark Web Criminals are Taking Advantage of the COVID-19 Crisis

Dark web criminals love a crisis. They use it to exploit fear and panic to their advantage. And what better environment for them to thrive than the current coronavirus panic?

So it’s no wonder that the deep and dark web is now full of cyber criminals offering coronavirus-related scams, including financial fraud and hacking, the sale of counterfeit drugs – and even fake vaccines for the virus. 

This blog post will show leading cybercrime examples we recently found in the Webz.io Cyber API related to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Counterfeit Goods 

Doctors and hospitals around the world are reporting huge shortages of medical equipment. That includes masks, gowns, protective gear and respirators. Countries who haven’t yet reached their peak in the spread of the virus, like the US, are reaching out to those who are already past the worst, like South Korea.

It’s the perfect environment to sell counterfeit medical equipment.

A vendor by the name of UKvendorpills247 was found selling non-woven, waterproof, full protective anti-corona anti-virus lab coats. 

Here is the post in the Webz.io Cyber API: 

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In the same post later we found a sale of goggles for eye protection and a thermal camera that functions as a corona virus detector. Most likely neither offer real protection from the virus.

Fake Vaccines

Scientists around the world are racing to find a vaccine for the coronavirus. Experts estimate that it will be at least a  year before a coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public. Until then, countries around the world are using social distancing and lockdowns to try to keep the virus from spreading. 

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that we found fake vaccines for sale in the Webz.io Cyber API: 

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Financial Fraud 

Cyber criminals like to take advantage of disasters by starting fake charities and funding the money into their own pockets. In response to the increase in financial scams related to the virus, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has warned the public to be especially careful when receiving any online communications related to COVID-19 that involves opening an email, attachment or link. 

Here is a post from a Bitcointalk forum on the deep web warning against a number of these specific campaigns. This is just one example of the type of post we found connected to financial fraud and the coronavirus in our Cyber API. 

astY8 fv33PZHg lT O PmggkO0c3W3OTLTTw DR1isS8KNIJF8uCo0f7A8AiWDSxQ1ce YSHh3FBAOkdmhvmVkGAkmAqYFZtsOx9wUOuCYaOgutD1VDKG fB y9CiEvIPWnQsLVSource: Bitcointalk 

Hacking 

More people than ever are now working from home, which makes them more susceptible to various hacking and financial fraud scams. 

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In this post from the deep web that we found in our Cyber API a list of websites from a forum the White House and US Army has warned the public from entering.  

The Need to Remain Vigilant During a Crisis 

At times of global crisis, threat awareness is even more important than ever.  Since cybercriminals prey on fears and insecurities, cyber solutions are imperative for security organizations such as the law enforcement administration (LEA) to do their utmost to mitigate damage from these types of malicious activity. By employing deep and dark web monitoring they can warn the public in advance and protect them. 

Want to learn more about how Webz’s cyber feeds offer full coverage of the darkweb networks with millions of sites, files, marketplaces and messaging platforms crawled daily? Talk to a cyber expert today.

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