A Look Into the Pricing of Stolen Identities For Sale on Dark Web
After a data breach, much of that stolen personal and sometimes highly personally identifiable information (PII) is sold on markets residing within the dark web. But, how much does the sale of stolen information work, exactly, and how much money are criminals making from stolen data?
Comparitech researchers analyzedlistings across 40+ dark web marketplaces gathering data on how much stolen identities, credit cards and hacked PayPal accounts are worth to cybercriminals.
Here are some key findings:
Americans have the cheapest “fullz” (full credentials e.g. SSN, name, DOB etc), averaging $8 per record. Japan and the UAE have the most expensive identities at an average of $25. Not all fullz are the same. While SSN, name, and DOB are all fairly standard in fullz, other information can be included or excluded and thereby change the price. Fullz that come with a driver’s license number, bank account statement, or utility bill will be worth more than those without, for example. Some fullz even include photos or scans of identification cards, such as a passport or driver’s license.
Prices for stolen credit cards range widely from $0.11 to $986. Hacked PayPal accounts range from $5 to $1,767.
The median credit limit on a stolen credit card is 24 times the price of the card.
The median account balance of a hacked PayPal account is 32 times the price on the dark web.
Credit cards, Paypal accounts, and fullz are the most popular types of stolen information traded on the dark web, but they’re far from the only data worth stealing, says Comparitech. Other types of stolen information usually for sale are: passports, driver’s licenses, frequent flyer miles, streaming accounts, dating profiles, social media accounts, bank accounts, and debit cards.
This data – most often stolen through phishing, credential stuffing, data breaches, and card skimmers – is bought and sold on dark web marketplaces. Here’s a few tips for avoiding those attacks, from Comparitech researchers:
There’s not much an end user can do about data breaches except to register fewer accounts and minimize your digital footprint.
Keep an eye out for card skimmers at points of sale, particularly unmanned ones such as those at gas stations.
PNT is primarily provided through the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). PNT is not just used for navigation, though. It also provides precision timing information that enables critical functions within telecommunication networks and the power grid. However, these PNT services are susceptible to interference such as GPS jamming and spoofing, which pose a risk to critical infrastructure. What was once an emerging risk is quickly becoming a pressing issue, with industry reporting a growing trend in the past two years of prominent PNT disruption events around the world. As the technological barriers to conducting these activities continue to fall, it becomes even more important to ensure our critical infrastructure is resilient to PNT disruptions.
The next time you unlock your front door, it might be worth trying to insert your key as quietly as possible; researchers have discovered that the sound of your key being inserted into the lock gives attackers all they need to make a working copy of your front door key.It sounds unlikely, but security researchers say they have proven that the series of audible, metallic clicks made as a key penetrates a lock can now be deciphered by signal processing software to reveal the precise shape of the sequence of ridges on the key’s shaft. Knowing this (the actual cut of your key), a working copy of it can then be three-dimensionally (3D) printed. The next time you unlock your front door, it might be worth trying to insert your key as quietly as possible; researchers have discovered that the sound of your key being inserted into the lock gives attackers all they need to make a working copy of your front door key.
It sounds unlikely, but security researchers say they have proven that the series of audible, metallic clicks made as a key penetrates a lock can now be deciphered by signal processing software to reveal the precise shape of the sequence of ridges on the key’s shaft. Knowing this (the actual cut of your key), a working copy of it can then be three-dimensionally (3D) printed.
Five years ago, the Department of Defense set dozens of security hygiene goals. A new report finds that it has abandoned or lost track of most of them
THE UNITED STATES federal government isn’t known for robustcybersecurity. Even the Department of Defense has its share of known vulnerabilities. Now a new report from the Government Accountability Office is highlighting systemic shortcomings in the Pentagon’s efforts to prioritize cybersecurity at every level and making seven recommendations for shoring up DoD’s digital defenses.
The report isn’t a checklist of what DoD should be doing to improve cybersecurity awareness in the abstract. Instead, GAO looked at three DoD-designed initiatives to see whether the Pentagon is following through on its own goals. In a majority of cases, DoD has not completed the cybersecurity training and awareness tasks it set out to. The status of various efforts is simply unknown because no one has tracked their progress. While an assessment of “cybersecurity hygiene” like this doesn’t directly analyze a network’s hardware and software vulnerabilities, it does underscore the need for people who use digital systems to interact with them in secure ways. Especially when those people work on national defense.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to understand their part in cybersecurity, but how do you convince everyone to follow the rules they’re supposed to follow and do it consistently enough?” says Joseph Kirschbaum, a director in GAO’s defense capabilities and management team who oversaw the report. “You’re never going to be able to eliminate all the threats, but you can manage them sufficiently, and a lot of DoD’s strategies and plans are good. Our concern is whether they’re doggedly pursuing it enough so they’re able to do the risk management.”
Video-conferencing startup models recovery plan on a Microsoft push years ago to boost Windows security
The COVID-19 crisis has given video conferencing app Zoom a huge surge in users, but it’s also highlighted multiple security and privacy issues. Amid reports of Zoom bombers andvideos of chats available online, the firm is now feeling the harsh repercussions of that rapid growth.
It is no surprise that people are worried about Zoom’s security, but I have to say the company’s response has so far been impressive. It’s not trying to hide security issues–fixing problems for Mac and Windows users very quickly.
By making encryption free and easy, Let’s Encrypt solved one of the web’s biggest problems. Its secret? A maniacal focus on automation and efficiency.
Let’s Encrypt issued its one billionth digital certificate a few weeks ago. Run by the nonprofit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), the service provides these certificates to websites for free, allowing your browser to create a secure and validated connection to a server that’s effectively impenetrable to snooping. The pandemic hasn’t halted the group’s progress: It says it’s now issued over 1,080,000,000 certificates.
That Let’s Encrypt doesn’t charge for this service is a big deal. A digital certificate for a website—also useful for email servers and other client/server systems—used to cost hundreds of dollars a year for a basic version and even more for a more comprehensive one. For smaller sites, that cost alone was a barrier.
While the price had dropped significantly before Let’s Encrypt began issuing its certificates at no cost in 2015, and some commercial issuers had offered free certificates on a limited basis, encrypting a site was no trivial matter. It required technical expertise and the ability to puzzle through command-line configurations. (Though I’ve been running websites since 1994, renewing and installing certificates had remained one of my bugbears before Let’s Encrypt.)
Let’s Encrypt didn’t set out to launch a price war and thereby destroy an existing marketplace. By making encryption free and simple, the organization has been a large part of an industrywide shift to encrypt all web browsing that has doubled the number of secure sites from 40 to 80 percent of all sites since 2016.
As executive director and cofounder of ISRG Josh Aas says, the organization wants everyone to be able to “go out and participate fully in the web without having to pay hundreds of dollars to do something.” Setting the cost at zero benefits each site’s users and the internet as a whole.
Google tracks opt-in information from Chrome browser users about the type of connections they make. It shows that secure connections rose from 39 percent (Windows) and 43 percent (Mac) in early 2015 to 88 and 93 percent respectively on April 11, 2020. One source indicates that Let’s Encrypt now supplies 30 percent of all website digital certificates. Two hundred million websites now use its certificates, the organization says.
This dramatic increase in web encryption protects people from some unwanted commercial tracking and snooping by malicious parties and government actors alike. It took Let’s Encrypt as a catalyst to put it within the reach of every website.
The U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies on Thursday called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke China Telecom (Americas) Corp’s (0728.HK) authorization to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.
China Telecom is the U.S. subsidiary of a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned telecommunications company. Last year, two U.S. senators asked the FCC to review approvals of China Telecom and China Unicom (0762.HK) to operate in the United States.
The FCC last May voted unanimously to deny another state-owned Chinese telecommunications company, China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK), the right to provide services in the United States, citing risks that the Chinese government could use the approval to conduct espionage against the U.S. government, It said then that it was “looking” at the licenses of China Telecom and China Unicom.
China Telecom (Americas) rejected the allegations and said it has “been extremely cooperative and transparent with regulators.”
“In many instances, we have gone beyond what has been requested to demonstrate how our business operates and serves our customers following the highest international standards,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing additional details to support our position and addressing any concerns.”
China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Beijing is “firmly opposed” to any action by the United States against China Telecom.
“We urge the United States to respect market economy principles, to cease its mistaken practices of generalizing national security and politicizing economic issues, and to cease unjustifiable oppression of Chinese companies,” Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing.
Anytime a device sends data, the traffic is captured and logged. Your location is used when you check the weather, but that same information can be sent to advertisers. Researchers have tools to see that log. Then they analyze it to figure out how much data gets sent and where it’s going.
Typically, that sort of network traffic analysis was used to look outside, providing a window on what was happening on public Wi-Fi networks. In recent years, however, researchers have turned that scope onto their own phones to see what data the apps on their devices send out.
By taking a look under the hood, they’ve found that many apps are sending data that goes beyond what people agree to under privacy policies and permissions requests.
“In the end, you’re left with a policy that’s essentially meaningless because it doesn’t describe what’s accurately happening,” said Serge Egelman, director of usable security and privacy research at the International Computer Science Institute. “The only way to answer that question is going in and seeing what the app is doing with that data.”
Sometimes, the data is just headed to advertisers, who think they can use it to sell you products. Phone location data can be a gold mine for advertisers, who tap it to figure out where people are at certain times. But it may also be going to government agencies that leverage the technology to surveil people using data collected by apps that never disclosed what they were doing. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that government agencies were using such data to track immigrants.