In the wake of rising cybercrime and identity theft, a new study by Privacy Affairs has found that an individual’s personal information is valued at $1,010 on the dark web.
The dark web is a marketplace where vendors anonymously operate the illegal trade of goods through unofficial or unauthorized channels
The Dark Web Price Index, based on data gathered from dark web marketplaces, forums, and websites, reveals that online banking logins, credit card details, and social media credentials can be purchased at shockingly low prices.
- Online banking logins cost an average of $100
- Full credit card details including associated data cost $10-$100
- A full range of documents and account details allowing identity theft can be obtained for around $1,000
Privacy Affairs security researcher Miklos Zoltan commented, “If someone gets their hands on your financial details or social media credentials, the prices mentioned above are basically what it’s worth to them. There’s a good chance that you value these things much more than they do, as to them you’re just another mark for a quick buck.”
The study said that stolen credit card details are usually formatted as a simple code that includes the card number, expiration dates and CVV, as well as account-holder data like address, email address and phone number. In one of the more notable credit card hacking crimes, hackers stole $1.5 million using credit card data bought on the dark web. In the United States v. Trevor Osagie, the defendant pled guilty to conspiracy to commit credit card fraud from 2015 to 2018. Osagie worked with a network of thieves and managed to rack up over $1.5 million in damages.
The dark web is part of the internet that isn’t visible to search engines and requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor to be accessed. According to CSOonline.com, estimates put the dark web at just around 5% of the total internet.
One of the easiest ways to protect your personal data is by using strong passwords. Be sure to update software regularly, use two-factor authentication whenever possible and monitor your bank and credit card statements and credit reports regularly for any suspicious activity.