Even the underground markets have taken a hit from COVID-19, and are exploring new ways to generate revenue
It was disclosed during a recent webinar held by Chainalysis on April 15 that criminals are profiting on the darknet from the current COVID-19 world pandemic. During the meeting, the company revealed that criminals were selling blood that has been infected with COVID-19 over the Internet. Even online criminals have suffered from this world crisis, according to Chainalysis, and there have been 33% fewer cryptocurrency transactions sent to scam addresses.
This financial crisis is being handled by cybercriminals in diverse ways, with some ideas bordering on perversion. For instance, there is a particular offering in the darknet in which the vendor is offering coronavirus-infected blood that he has injected into some bats. The owner of the peculiar store selling this product claims to have obtained the blood from his hospitalized father. The cost of purchasing one bat is 0.005 BTC, although it is not clear yet whether the seller is actually selling infected blood, or just trying to scam his victims out of their Bitcoin.
It is not all bad on the darknet, and some operators are even self-regulating the products they offer. There are some online venues that are banning the sale of COVID-19 “cures,” and even the admin for DoppelPaymer ransomware has stated that they will stop any attack on hospitals during this global health crisis. At some point in time, darknet markets didn’t have ill intentions at all – the creator of Silk Road Ross Ulbricht once banned anything that could either harm someone or defraud an individual using his marketplace. However, as it gained more attention, it quickly became the go-to location to find virtually anything illegal.