Does cybercrime really pay? Have you ever wondered just how valuable your personal information is to hackers? What personal data fetches the highest price on the dark web?
To answer these questions researchers from Privacy Affairs, a data privacy and cybersecurity research and information site, gathered data from the dark web on the most prevalent personal information up for sale, and released their findings this month in a "Dark Web Price Index 2020."
According to the data gathered, social media accounts sold for a relatively low price - a hacked Facebook account sells for an average of $74.50 while a hacked Instagram account sells for an average of $55.45 and a hacked Twitter account goes for an average of $49.
However, a hacked Gmail account proves to be the most valuable, fetching an average of $155.73, presumably because an email account can provide additional private information of use to hackers.
Despite the cost of social media account hacks, the report said that offers to hack accounts were “relatively scarce” on the dark web, perhaps due to the effort needed to infiltrate the accounts and the low success rate.
What did sell for more money was payment processing services such as stolen PayPal account details receiving an average of $198.56 and actual PayPal transfers from a stolen account of sums between $1,000-$3,000 sold for $320.39 on average.
As for credit card information, the researchers found that stolen online banking logins with a minimum of $100 on the account sold for $35 while stolen banking logins with a minimum of $2,000 on account sold for $65.
Additionally, stolen credit card information with a PIN sold for as little as $15 to $35.
The report also found how lucrative it is for hackers to use malicious tools such as malware and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. For example, the index finds that malware attacks, which are installed on comprised systems such as Windows, Android and others give attackers access to the system, allowing them to steal account log in information when users log into a website.
On the dark web hackers sell these products per installs, so that for every 1000 installs of USA high quality malware a hacker can receive an average of $1,700.
While some of these details sell for a seemingly low price on the dark web, they are most likely far more valuable to their owners. As such, the report highlights the importance of taking good cyber security measures. Among the tips included: check often for malware on your computer, avoid unsecured WiFi networks, delete old accounts, and never use the same password for multiple accounts.