DARK WEB IDENTITY THEFT

 

Indeed, you can’t put a price on freedom, love, or health. All the money in the world can’t buy those things. But one thing that you can put a price on is your identity. And the Dark Web is a hive of activity for all things falling within the realm of identity theft.

INFLUX TO A DIGITAL WORLD

Long before the days of the coronavirus pandemic, the world was witnessing a massive increase in cybercriminal activity on the internet. With more and more transactions becoming digital, there has been a prevalent influx of people going online, for work and play. Every time you open a web-based account, you give away a little piece of yourself. Your identity. Brian Riley, Director of Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group, explains:

“Technology makes our life more comfortable, but it brings risk. Identity theft is a perfect example. As we open doors for e-commerce and online banking, new opportunities for criminals come simultaneously.”

DARK WEB PRICE DROP

While years ago an email address or random login credentials may have been highly sought after by cybercriminals, the story today is very different. Dark web hackers want the whole shebang, an entire identity. And the copious volume of identification data out there has led to two things – a surge in identity fraud and a drop in the cost of stolen information.

WHAT IS MY NETWORK WORTH?

Okay, net worth then. When data, including identities, are stolen, where do they end up? For sale on the Dark Web, naturally. And everything has a price, albeit quite low. Privacy Affairs has published a Dark Web Price Index 2021. Here are some statistics from the report that are truly an eye-opener:

CategoryProductAverage Dark Web Price (USD)
Credit Card DataCredit card details with PIN, account balance up to $5,000$240
 UK hacked credit card details with CVV$20
PaymentsStolen PayPal account details, minimum $1,000$120
Social MediaHacked Facebook account$65
Hacked ServicesNetflix$44
 Uber$8
 eBay account with a good reputation$1,000
Forged documentsEU identity card$400
 European Union passport$4,000

A PRICE ON YOUR HEAD?

There may not be a price on your head, but there sure is one on your identity. And depending on what somebody wants to buy, that price is rather small, even for criminals looking to take on a new identity – those wanting the whole shebang. Matching credentials such as credit card details, payment accounts, social media logins, and passports and drivers licenses all underpin this season’s criminal couture.

A SYNTHETIC IDENTITY

As reported in Forbes in July 2020, an audit of the Dark Web reveals that 15 billion login credentials from 100,000 breaches have been stolen. If that’s not scary enough, then these words from Brian Riley should be fair warning:

“When you tie several of these items together, you have more than just access to personal financial data. You have the ability to create a synthetic identity that can not only disrupt the life of the victim but challenge the irrefutability of the payment network.”