Cyber criminals sell blood plasma as “miracle cure” for Covid-19 on dark web: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 24, 2020

Cybercriminals are posting lists of blood plasma from cured Covid-19 patients as a “miracle cure” on the dark web, according to media reports.

These cyber fraudsters offer to sell recovered Covid-19 patients’ blood plasma which is supposed to contain antibodies for the virus, advertising it as a miracle cure for the infection, said a senior police official on Saturday in the report.

Plasma therapy is currently an experimental treatment that is being tested in India and abroad. Previously, the ICMR had said that efficacy of the treatment is yet to be proven. Earlier this month, authorities had approved 21 institutions for testing the therapy to treat serious cases of Covid-19.

The Maharashtra cyber police had received screenshots of the dark web listings and are investigating the same, the report said.

Cyber fraudsters on the dark web are taking advantage of the pandemic with increasing number of Covid-19 related listings.

The listings for Covid-19 essentials such as N95 masks and anti-malarial drugs had increased on the dark web, according to a report, by blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, released in April.

“Vendors on these sites can post listings for everything from narcotics to stolen credit cards and hacking tools, with payment accepted exclusively in crypto-assets. Over the past few weeks they have begun to exploit the opportunities presented by the coronavirus pandemic,” the report read.

The firm observed hundreds of listings for face masks, anti-malarial drugs, home testing strips and other essentials such as toilet paper being on the dark web.

The darknet had indexed websites of sellers from the United States to Europe and Russia as demand for protective equipment has surged tremendously during the pandemic, Reuters had reported.

Published on May 24, 2020

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