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揭秘伪造“新冠护照”的黑市:暗流汹涌,“潜力”巨大

揭秘伪造“新冠护照”的黑市:暗流汹涌,“潜力”巨大

KATHERINE DUNN 2021年08月09日
这只是一个信息爆发并且显而易见的新冠疫苗证书和护照黑市的入口,富裕国家的人不想接种疫苗以及仍然无法接种疫苗的人都助长了这个黑市的扩张。

我个人购买的“伪造疫苗接种套餐”的广告上有一个gif动图。

这张gif图以花卉图案为背景,快速缩放四张印有英国国家医疗服务体系标志的疫苗接种书,并配有一张看起来很正式的空白文档。为了显得真实可信,我的名字和申请日期都附在上面。这些伪造的疫苗证明显示此人已经接种两剂阿斯利康(幽灵)疫苗。实际上,我已经接种了两剂辉瑞疫苗

卖家承诺,伪造疫苗接种证明的套餐还包括数字版本:一个二维码。我可以通过英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的跟踪和追踪的应用程序查到新冠疫苗护照。卖家说,只要我用比特币支付200欧元(约合236美元)后,疫苗护照将会在30分钟内发送给我,快递到我家。卖家还能帮我买一本法国的新冠护照或者德国的新冠护照?这都没问题——每本200欧元。

这并不是暗网最深的地方。这是一款即时通讯应用Telegram,该应用的卖家背后有一个11.1万名成员的团队,应用平台上充斥着各种语言的新冠疫苗官方证书的照片以及反疫苗阴谋论。

这只是一个信息爆发并且显而易见的新冠疫苗证书和护照黑市的入口,富裕国家的人不想接种疫苗以及仍然无法接种疫苗的人都助长了这个黑市的扩张。随着高度接种疫苗的国家越来越多地强制要求人们接种疫苗。不仅是为了出国旅行,而且是为了获得从餐馆到体育赛事的一切工作机会,这个黑市只会不断壮大。

Check Point软件技术有限公司的安全专家拉亚•米兹拉奇(Liad Mizrachi)表示:“这方面的市场潜力非常大。”他自3月份以来一直在跟踪伪造证件和假疫苗护照数量激增的事件。“同时,由于黑市引发的毁灭性后果令人十分沮丧。”

乱象丛生的新冠疫苗护照黑市

米兹拉奇说,假新冠疫苗护照的激增遵循了一个可靠的趋势:当一个国家,比如法国,宣布基于疫苗接种的一系列限制措施时,伪造新冠疫苗护照的苗头就开始展露了。

伪造的新冠疫苗护照仿佛唾手可得。米兹拉奇表示,尽管黑客的报价最初出现在暗网上,但搜索客户的过程很快将交易转移到了Telegram,甚至是用于加密消息的流行应用程序WhatsApp。Check Point的研究人员浏览了包括脸书在内的反疫苗小组,这导致Telegram小组的邀请明显基于出售假护照和证书。

他说:“这两队团伙之间肯定有协同合作,或者至少有一方在利用另一方。”

米兹拉奇表示,信息平台的最近活动表明,卖家有意将目标锁定在不熟悉暗网操作的买家身上,这些人也不太善于识别彻头彻尾的骗局。他补充说,从那以后,Telegram集团的规模呈现爆炸式增长。有些团体只有几十名成员,而该公司追踪的一个团体有50万名成员。

记者采访Telegram的一名发言人时,他提到了意大利政府公布的出售假证书的组织,并表示Telegram已经关闭了这些账户,当局也没有进一步联系。该发言人没有对现有的虚假英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)账户和欧洲账户发表进一步看法。脸书颁布政策禁止在该平台发布合法和伪造的医疗文件,包括疫苗接种证明。

但米兹拉奇指出,大多数国家早期新冠疫苗证书的保真度较低,加上缺乏国际合作,为伪造证明创造了一个完全开放的市场。许多疫苗接种证书仍然是纸质的,很容易伪造。不法分子经常利用社交媒体上合法疫苗接种卡的照片,伪造相关细节。

米兹拉奇说,在英国,新冠数字护照正在通过英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的跟踪和追踪的应用程序推出,卖家现在似乎在努力解决如何绕过系统追踪的问题。但其他国家也经常利用系统中的漏洞。(在德国,当局政府最近补充了允许通过药房进行数字注册的相关条款。)

就通行证问题,一名欧盟官员表示,欧盟委员会意识到伪造的新冠疫苗证书越来越多,但表示,欧盟数字新冠疫苗接种证书的数字加密手段完全安全,不会被篡改。该证书可用于在欧盟国家内部旅行。

“重要的是区分欧盟数字新冠通行证和伪造的欧盟数字新冠安全证书,”这位官员表示,并补充说欧盟成员国需要确保自己的证书是受法律保护并且安全可靠。

但是,米兹拉奇指出,在全球各地,许多时候边境服务没有配备扫描、解读其他国家护照和证书的设备,这为欺诈行为留下了更多空间。

据他描述,通常工作人员只是看一眼护照,说“看起来不错,下一位”,直接放行。“这种局面相当混乱。”米兹拉奇说。

但是,毕竟技术复杂性没能阻止卖家“提供数字解决方案”的宣传口号,这一点或许揭示了遏制假新冠护照传播的最佳方法:让人们知道他们可能会被骗。

剑桥大学(Cambridge University)研究虚假信息和阴谋论的社会心理学家桑德•范德林登指出,反疫苗者“极其讨厌被骗”。从骗子的角度来看,新冠护照越来越强大,这并不是一个障碍。“他们只会佯装向你出售任何东西。”他说。

第二位卖家告诉我,他们提供的纸质护照只能让我“匆忙地”进入餐馆和商店。目前在英国甚至没有这么做的必要。另一位卖家则声称,他们可以为我建立一个数字护照,链接到我真实的NHS号码、地址和全科医生注册信息。

“它被存入NHS数据库,”这位卖家表示,“我们在那有内部人员。”

当我表示疑惑时,卖家表示,在我以比特币的形式转账200英镑(约合278美元)之后,他们会提供证据。但是,我无法核实卖家的身份和位置。

“购买和使用假卡,假装你已经接种了新冠病毒疫苗,实际上并没有——这可能对你和其他人有害,并可能导致病毒的进一步传播。”英国国家欺诈和网络犯罪报告中心(National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre)——防止诈骗行动处(Action Fraud)主管宝琳•史密斯在一份评论中表示。她补充说,在英国,疫苗只能从NHS处获得,而且当然是免费的。

反疫苗者(原词是一个新词,意思是要么不相信新冠存在,要么认为根本没有政府说的那么糟糕,指一种不相信政府和媒体的人群)

在新冠疫情的世界里,假疫苗接种证书的激增,只是众多骗局中的一个。

网络安全专家还指出了疫苗本身在黑市上出售的情况,以及各种欺诈行为:如假装卫生当局窃取个人数据、迫切需要检测,针对卫生服务和供应商的复杂的网络攻击等。

“自疫情开始以来,我们的威胁情报分析师已经发现了数千起与疫情有关的网络攻击。”网络安全咨询公司Anomali的网络情报战略高级主管A•J纳什表示,“我们还看到了暗网论坛出售假的新冠疫苗接种卡、检测结果,甚至还有疫苗。”

尽管纳什表示,他们公司还未看到专门针对NHS软件的仿冒品,但他表示,“考虑到地下论坛广阔的范围和网络罪犯的复杂程度,我们有理由认为这样一个市场可能会出现”。

除此之外,假新冠护照的爆炸式增长似乎映射着全球疫苗接种的两个截然不同但同时存在的障碍:不信任,以及缺乏获取渠道。

说到不信任,肯定是那些拒绝接种疫苗的人。在美国,大约一半未接种疫苗的人说他们“肯定”不会接种疫苗。

还有迹象表明,美国和英国的年轻人对疫苗的犹豫程度略高,他们是最懂技术的人,同时也是目前最不可能接种疫苗的人。YouGov的一项跟踪调查显示,与其他国家相比,英国总体上在疫苗问题上的犹豫相对较少。

与此同时,由于全球疫苗推广速度缓慢,很多地区缺乏疫苗获取渠道。根据世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)的数据,截至今年5月,富裕国家为每100人注射了约50剂疫苗,而较贫穷国家仅注射了0.1剂。米兹拉奇指出,后者群体正在推动全球对新冠疫苗假证件的需求,一些人只是为了探望家人,或者为了工作。

范德林登说,假新冠证明市场的大部分人群,可能来自后者,也就是渠道缺乏者。他指出,经过充分研究,真正的反疫苗者应当仍然是少数。

但是,对新冠护照的如此推销的推崇或也吸引了一群新的人——这些人不认为自己反疫苗,但仍然不愿意注射疫苗。

“或许我们现在还没有一个确切的数字,但这一群体确实存在。”范德林登说。

无论如何,销售仍在继续。就在我写完这篇文章的时候,一封来自Telegram的通知从我手机里跳出来。

“事实是,永远不要接种那些疯狂的、恶心的疫苗。”卖家写道。

这位卖家还附上了他们商品的照片:新冠疫苗文件在拼花地板上铺开,上面有伪造的印度尼西亚、荷兰和巴基斯坦政府的字体和信头。(财富中文网)

这篇文章已被修改:关于桑德•范德林登的职务关系部分。

编译:於欣、杨二一

我个人购买的“伪造疫苗接种套餐”的广告上有一个gif动图。

这张gif图以花卉图案为背景,快速缩放四张印有英国国家医疗服务体系标志的疫苗接种书,并配有一张看起来很正式的空白文档。为了显得真实可信,我的名字和申请日期都附在上面。这些伪造的疫苗证明显示此人已经接种两剂阿斯利康(幽灵)疫苗。实际上,我已经接种了两剂辉瑞疫苗

卖家承诺,伪造疫苗接种证明的套餐还包括数字版本:一个二维码。我可以通过英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的跟踪和追踪的应用程序查到新冠疫苗护照。卖家说,只要我用比特币支付200欧元(约合236美元)后,疫苗护照将会在30分钟内发送给我,快递到我家。卖家还能帮我买一本法国的新冠护照或者德国的新冠护照?这都没问题——每本200欧元。

这并不是暗网最深的地方。这是一款即时通讯应用Telegram,该应用的卖家背后有一个11.1万名成员的团队,应用平台上充斥着各种语言的新冠疫苗官方证书的照片以及反疫苗阴谋论。

这只是一个信息爆发并且显而易见的新冠疫苗证书和护照黑市的入口,富裕国家的人不想接种疫苗以及仍然无法接种疫苗的人都助长了这个黑市的扩张。随着高度接种疫苗的国家越来越多地强制要求人们接种疫苗。不仅是为了出国旅行,而且是为了获得从餐馆到体育赛事的一切工作机会,这个黑市只会不断壮大。

Check Point软件技术有限公司的安全专家拉亚•米兹拉奇(Liad Mizrachi)表示:“这方面的市场潜力非常大。”他自3月份以来一直在跟踪伪造证件和假疫苗护照数量激增的事件。“同时,由于黑市引发的毁灭性后果令人十分沮丧。”

乱象丛生的新冠疫苗护照黑市

米兹拉奇说,假新冠疫苗护照的激增遵循了一个可靠的趋势:当一个国家,比如法国,宣布基于疫苗接种的一系列限制措施时,伪造新冠疫苗护照的苗头就开始展露了。

伪造的新冠疫苗护照仿佛唾手可得。米兹拉奇表示,尽管黑客的报价最初出现在暗网上,但搜索客户的过程很快将交易转移到了Telegram,甚至是用于加密消息的流行应用程序WhatsApp。Check Point的研究人员浏览了包括脸书在内的反疫苗小组,这导致Telegram小组的邀请明显基于出售假护照和证书。

他说:“这两队团伙之间肯定有协同合作,或者至少有一方在利用另一方。”

米兹拉奇表示,信息平台的最近活动表明,卖家有意将目标锁定在不熟悉暗网操作的买家身上,这些人也不太善于识别彻头彻尾的骗局。他补充说,从那以后,Telegram集团的规模呈现爆炸式增长。有些团体只有几十名成员,而该公司追踪的一个团体有50万名成员。

记者采访Telegram的一名发言人时,他提到了意大利政府公布的出售假证书的组织,并表示Telegram已经关闭了这些账户,当局也没有进一步联系。该发言人没有对现有的虚假英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)账户和欧洲账户发表进一步看法。脸书颁布政策禁止在该平台发布合法和伪造的医疗文件,包括疫苗接种证明。

但米兹拉奇指出,大多数国家早期新冠疫苗证书的保真度较低,加上缺乏国际合作,为伪造证明创造了一个完全开放的市场。许多疫苗接种证书仍然是纸质的,很容易伪造。不法分子经常利用社交媒体上合法疫苗接种卡的照片,伪造相关细节。

米兹拉奇说,在英国,新冠数字护照正在通过英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的跟踪和追踪的应用程序推出,卖家现在似乎在努力解决如何绕过系统追踪的问题。但其他国家也经常利用系统中的漏洞。(在德国,当局政府最近补充了允许通过药房进行数字注册的相关条款。)

就通行证问题,一名欧盟官员表示,欧盟委员会意识到伪造的新冠疫苗证书越来越多,但表示,欧盟数字新冠疫苗接种证书的数字加密手段完全安全,不会被篡改。该证书可用于在欧盟国家内部旅行。

“重要的是区分欧盟数字新冠通行证和伪造的欧盟数字新冠安全证书,”这位官员表示,并补充说欧盟成员国需要确保自己的证书是受法律保护并且安全可靠。

但是,米兹拉奇指出,在全球各地,许多时候边境服务没有配备扫描、解读其他国家护照和证书的设备,这为欺诈行为留下了更多空间。

据他描述,通常工作人员只是看一眼护照,说“看起来不错,下一位”,直接放行。“这种局面相当混乱。”米兹拉奇说。

但是,毕竟技术复杂性没能阻止卖家“提供数字解决方案”的宣传口号,这一点或许揭示了遏制假新冠护照传播的最佳方法:让人们知道他们可能会被骗。

剑桥大学(Cambridge University)研究虚假信息和阴谋论的社会心理学家桑德•范德林登指出,反疫苗者“极其讨厌被骗”。从骗子的角度来看,新冠护照越来越强大,这并不是一个障碍。“他们只会佯装向你出售任何东西。”他说。

第二位卖家告诉我,他们提供的纸质护照只能让我“匆忙地”进入餐馆和商店。目前在英国甚至没有这么做的必要。另一位卖家则声称,他们可以为我建立一个数字护照,链接到我真实的NHS号码、地址和全科医生注册信息。

“它被存入NHS数据库,”这位卖家表示,“我们在那有内部人员。”

当我表示疑惑时,卖家表示,在我以比特币的形式转账200英镑(约合278美元)之后,他们会提供证据。但是,我无法核实卖家的身份和位置。

“购买和使用假卡,假装你已经接种了新冠病毒疫苗,实际上并没有——这可能对你和其他人有害,并可能导致病毒的进一步传播。”英国国家欺诈和网络犯罪报告中心(National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre)——防止诈骗行动处(Action Fraud)主管宝琳•史密斯在一份评论中表示。她补充说,在英国,疫苗只能从NHS处获得,而且当然是免费的。

反疫苗者(原词是一个新词,意思是要么不相信新冠存在,要么认为根本没有政府说的那么糟糕,指一种不相信政府和媒体的人群)

在新冠疫情的世界里,假疫苗接种证书的激增,只是众多骗局中的一个。

网络安全专家还指出了疫苗本身在黑市上出售的情况,以及各种欺诈行为:如假装卫生当局窃取个人数据、迫切需要检测,针对卫生服务和供应商的复杂的网络攻击等。

“自疫情开始以来,我们的威胁情报分析师已经发现了数千起与疫情有关的网络攻击。”网络安全咨询公司Anomali的网络情报战略高级主管A•J纳什表示,“我们还看到了暗网论坛出售假的新冠疫苗接种卡、检测结果,甚至还有疫苗。”

尽管纳什表示,他们公司还未看到专门针对NHS软件的仿冒品,但他表示,“考虑到地下论坛广阔的范围和网络罪犯的复杂程度,我们有理由认为这样一个市场可能会出现”。

除此之外,假新冠护照的爆炸式增长似乎映射着全球疫苗接种的两个截然不同但同时存在的障碍:不信任,以及缺乏获取渠道。

说到不信任,肯定是那些拒绝接种疫苗的人。在美国,大约一半未接种疫苗的人说他们“肯定”不会接种疫苗。

还有迹象表明,美国和英国的年轻人对疫苗的犹豫程度略高,他们是最懂技术的人,同时也是目前最不可能接种疫苗的人。YouGov的一项跟踪调查显示,与其他国家相比,英国总体上在疫苗问题上的犹豫相对较少。

与此同时,由于全球疫苗推广速度缓慢,很多地区缺乏疫苗获取渠道。根据世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)的数据,截至今年5月,富裕国家为每100人注射了约50剂疫苗,而较贫穷国家仅注射了0.1剂。米兹拉奇指出,后者群体正在推动全球对新冠疫苗假证件的需求,一些人只是为了探望家人,或者为了工作。

范德林登说,假新冠证明市场的大部分人群,可能来自后者,也就是渠道缺乏者。他指出,经过充分研究,真正的反疫苗者应当仍然是少数。

但是,对新冠护照的如此推销的推崇或也吸引了一群新的人——这些人不认为自己反疫苗,但仍然不愿意注射疫苗。

“或许我们现在还没有一个确切的数字,但这一群体确实存在。”范德林登说。

无论如何,销售仍在继续。就在我写完这篇文章的时候,一封来自Telegram的通知从我手机里跳出来。

“事实是,永远不要接种那些疯狂的、恶心的疫苗。”卖家写道。

这位卖家还附上了他们商品的照片:新冠疫苗文件在拼花地板上铺开,上面有伪造的印度尼西亚、荷兰和巴基斯坦政府的字体和信头。(财富中文网)

这篇文章已被修改:关于桑德•范德林登的职务关系部分。

编译:於欣、杨二一

My personal "fake vaccine pack" came advertised with an animated gif.

Set against a floral-patterned carpet, the gif rapidly zoomed in and out of a neatly arranged spread: four fake paper vaccine cards stamped with the logo of the U.K.'s National Health Service, paired with a piece of official-looking blank paperwork, and—for authenticity's sake—my (real) first name, and the date of the request. In this world, I had received two (phantom) doses of AstraZeneca. In reality, I am fully vaccinated—with two doses of Pfizer.

The other part of the package, the seller promised, was digital: a QR code that would supposedly give me access to a COVID-19 passport on the NHS's Track and Trace app. It would be sent within 30 minutes after I transferred €200, or about $236, in Bitcoin, the seller said. The paperwork would be sent to my home address. Could the seller get me a French COVID-19 passport, or a German one? No problem—€200 each.

This isn't the farthest reaches of the dark web. It's Telegram, a messaging app, where this seller runs a 111,000 member group flooded with photos of official looking COVID-19 certificates in various languages—and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

It's just one entryway into an exploding and barely hidden black market for COVID-19 certificates and passports, fueled both by people in wealthy countries who don't want to get vaccinated, and people who still can't get access to vaccines. As highly vaccinated countries are increasingly mandating vaccination passes not just for international travel, but also for access to everything from jobs to restaurants to sports events, the market is only growing.

"There is such huge potential," says Liad Mizrachi, a security expert at Check Point Software Technologies, who has followed the explosion of fake certificates and passports since March. "Sad potential and destructive potential, as well."

“A chaotic situation”

The explosion of fake COVID-19 passports has followed a reliable trend: The moment a country—say, France—announces a battery of restrictions based on vaccination, the offers start appearing, says Mizrachi.

They're also easy to find. Though offers among hackers first appeared on the dark web, the search for customers quickly moved the trade to Telegram and even the popular encrypted messaging service WhatsApp, says Mizrachi. Researchers at Check Point browsed anti-vaccination groups—including on Facebook—which led to invites to Telegram groups explicitly based on selling fake passports and certificates.

“There is definitely synergy between these two groups, or at least one group is using the other one,” he says.

The movement onto messaging platforms suggests the sellers are purposely targeting buyers inexperienced with navigating the dark web, who are also less equipped to recognize outright scams, says Mizrachi. Since then, the Telegram groups have exploded in size, he adds. Some groups have just a few dozen members, while one group the company tracks has half a million.

Contacted for comment, a Telegram spokesperson referred to groups selling the fake certificates that were reported by Italian officials, and said that Telegram had shut down the accounts and received no further contact from the authorities. The spokesperson did not respond to a further request for comment on existing accounts offering fake NHS and European accounts. Facebook policy bans the posting of both legitimate and fake medical documents, including vaccine certificates.

But the low-fi nature of the early COVID-19 certificates in most countries and the lack of international cooperation have created a wide-open market for fraud, Mizrachi points out. Many of the vaccination certificates are still paper only and easy to forge, often using details ripped off strangers' celebratory social media photos of legitimate vaccine cards.

In the U.K., where the digital COVID-19 passport is being rolled out through the NHS's Track and Trace app, sellers now appear to be grappling with how to reliably get around the system, Mizrachi said. But loopholes have frequently been exploited in other countries. (In Germany, the government recently closed one gap that allowed digital registration through pharmacies.)

Contacted about the passes, an EU official said that the commission is aware of the increasing number of fake COVID-19 certificates, but said that the digital encryption on the bloc's Digital COVID Certificate, which can be used for travel within the EU, is entirely secure and can't be tampered with.

"It is important to distinguish between the security of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the possible falsification of vaccination certificates that are used to generate [the] secure EU Digital COVID Certificate," the official said, adding that member states needed to make sure that their own certificates were properly secured and checked.

But in many cases globally, border services aren't equipped to scan or even understand the passports and certificates from other countries, leaving more options for fraud, noted Mizrachi.

“Usually you just look at it, and ‘It looks fine, okay, carry on,’” he said. “It’s just kind of a chaotic situation.”

After all, potential technical complications haven't stopped sellers from claiming they can offer digital solutions, which might point toward the best way of combating the spread of fake COVID-19 passports in the first place: letting people know that they’re likely to get scammed.

Anti-vaxxers are "really, really averse to getting duped," points out Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist from Cambridge University who studies misinformation and conspiracy theories. From a scammer's perspective, increasingly robust COVID-19 passports aren't a barrier, he points out: "They'll just pretend to sell you anything."

While a second seller told me their paper-card offerings were only workable for cursory entry to restaurants and shops—which, at the moment, is not even necessary in the U.K.—another claimed they could set up a digital passport for me linked to my genuine NHS number, address, and GP registration.

"It gets puts [sic] into the NHS database," the seller said. "We have inside people."

When I expressed doubt, the seller said they would provide proof—after I transferred £200 ($278)—in Bitcoin, of course. (I was not able to verify the identity or the location of the seller.)

“Buying and using fake cards to pretend you have received the coronavirus vaccine, when you haven’t, could be harmful to you and others, and could result in the further spread of the virus," said Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, the U.K.'s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, in a provided comment. She added that in the U.K., the vaccine is available only from the NHS and is, of course, free.

The scamdemic

In the world of COVID-19, the explosion of fake vaccination certificates is just one scam among many.

Cybersecurity experts have also pointed toward black market offers of the vaccines themselves, along with a vast universe of fraudulent schemes: from low-tech scammers pretending to be health authorities to rip off personal data or take advantage of desperation for tests, to sophisticated cyberattacks aimed at health services and providers.

"Since the start of the pandemic, our threat intel analysts have detected thousands of pandemic-related cyberattacks," said AJ Nash, senior director of cyber intelligence strategy at Anomali, a cybersecurity consultancy. "We’ve also seen dark web forums selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, test results, and even vaccines."

While Nash said the firm hadn't seen fakes specifically for the NHS app, "given the range of underground online forums and the levels of sophistication cybercriminals have achieved, it’s reasonable to presume that such a market will emerge, if it hasn’t already."

The fake COVID-19 passport explosion seems to cater to two disparate but powerful barriers to global vaccination: distrust, and lack of access.

When it comes to distrust, the market is coming from people who refuse to get vaccinated—in the U.S., about half of those who are unvaccinated say they will "definitely" not get the shot.

There are also indications that vaccine hesitation is slightly higher among younger people in both the U.S. and the U.K., who are both the least likely to be currently vaccinated and the most tech-savvy. (The U.K., in general, actually has relatively little vaccine hesitancy compared to other countries, according to a tracker from YouGov.)

The lack of access, meanwhile, is largely due to the slow pace of the global vaccine roll out. According to the World Health Organization, wealthy countries had administered about 50 doses per 100 people by May, while poorer countries had administered just 0.1 doses per 100 people. That group is fueling global demand for fake certificates in order to travel to see family, or simply to work, points out Mizrachi.

The majority of the market for fake COVID-19 documents are likely to be from this second group, says van der Linden. Genuine anti-vaxxers remain a well-studied minority, he notes.

But the fairly overt marketing for the COVID-19 passports might also be drawing in a new group of people—those who don't consider themselves to be generally anti-vaccine, but still don't want to take the COVID-19 jab.

"I don’t think we have a number for that group now, but they’re their own group," said van der Linden.

Either way, the selling continues. While I was finishing this story, a notification from Telegram popped up on my phone.

"The truth is always don't take that crazy sh*tty vaccine," the seller wrote.

The person attached a photo of their wares: paperwork fanned out across a parquet floor, and bearing the forged fonts and letterheads of the governments of Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Pakistan.

This article has been corrected to reflect Sander van der Linden's affiliation.

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