When hackers scam a company by infiltrating its servers or holding its computer system hostage, the stolen data is worth its weight in gold in the illegal dark web markets.
The research company Comparitech recently published a study on the prices negotiated on this famous deep web, also called the hidden web or the underground web.
First, know the three layers of the web
Unlike the visible web that we use every day and accessible through a simple browser, the invisible web or deep web includes corporate networks, government and banking resources, internal and messaging services where security is provided by layers of routers and protected by usernames and passwords. When you use an ATM or access your online banking account on your Mac or PC, you are using the resources of the Web deep.
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Last layer, the Underground Web (Dark Web or Darknet) which, through layered encryption across multiple servers, provides anonymity to all who demand invulnerable online protection, including whistleblowers or journalists vulnerable to dictatorship censorship. But this network quickly became a favorite place for illegal trade, cyber hacking, even terrorists and other traffickers.
The Fullz !?
Comparitech researchers have exposed the prices of information stolen and traded on the underground web. Prices that vary depending on the account balance, credit limit, country of origin and additional data.
From English slang “full credentials”, a fullz corresponds to a “complete reference”, therefore to that of an individual with his cards, identifiers, address, telephone, SIN, etc.
Of the forty or so markets surveyed, the cheapest fullz are those of the Americans (US $ 8), while the fullz of the Europeans, Japanese and Emirati (United Arab Emirates) are worth more than $ 25. Between these two extremes, Canadian fullz are worth $ 15 each.
This is what allows the fullz buyer to usurp identities in order to access the victims’ online, bank, PCU, tax returns accounts. In short, wherever there are dollars without having to step outside and in the comfort of his home and, above all, without the risk of seeing the police raiding his home.
If the fullz includes more items like a passport, identity cards, driver’s license, date of birth, the higher its price, adds Comparitech.
Conversely, information or personal data sold individually is worth less.
See the extremes: A hacked PayPal account is worth between $ 5 and $ 1,767.
With a strong fullz, a criminal can open a line of credit on behalf of the victim and quickly make withdrawals at bank machines, commit credit card frauds, divert tax refunds, the list goes on.
Credit card prices
Again, the many American credit cards that are flooding the Underground Web are not very expensive, $ 1.5 per number. At the top of the list, those from the Emirates, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Japan are priced at $ 7-8 apiece. And halfway, those from Canada, $ 3.5.
Of course, these fullz or credit cards are sold in sets. Concretely, criminals can carry out transactions by “no card”, that is to say by using only the number of the card as is the case for the orders by mail, by telephone or on line by Internet. .
Better-equipped criminals can also use special equipment (obviously sold on the underground web) to forge simple duplicate cards and use them where magnetic tape readers are still used, such as at gas stations.
Sure of their stolen products, traffickers provide full after-sales service by guaranteeing returns of several thousand dollars on every fullz or stolen credit card.
Precautions to take
The ways to avoid having your data fall into the hands of cyber hackers are simple, conclude the researchers at Comparitech.
Restrict the number of your credit cards as much as possible;
Regularly check your bank and credit card accounts;
For the latter in self-service, if possible avoid magnetic tape drives which can be corrupted by a cloning process;
Know how to recognize phishing in emails and other messages;
Between credit and debit cards, prefer the first ones, because the issuers offer protection on your transactions – plus an additional card with a very low credit limit of $ 300 or $ 400 can be useful in many circumstances, such as when traveling abroad where security is uncertain;
Finally, on all your online accounts, only use strong and complex passwords.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116