Although Black Friday (opens in new tab) and Cyber Monday (opens in new tab) may be over, Kaspersky has discovered that there are still plenty of sales to be found on the Dark Web (opens in new tab) where a driver's license can cost as little as $5 and credit card details start around $6.
To gain a better understanding of how users' personal information can be used in the wrong hands, the cybersecurity firm's researchers analyzed active offers on 10 international darknet forums and marketplaces.
Kaspersky's research found that access to personal data can start as low as 50 cents for and ID with prices depending on the depth and breadth of the data offered.
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While the prices for credit card data, banking and e-payment service access have remained relatively unchanged in recent years, new types of data are now available for sale online. These include personal medical records (opens in new tab) that range in price from $1 to $30, PayPal accounts from $50 to $500 and even selfies with either a passport or driver's license for $40 to $60.
Personal information for sale
Personal information and other data sold on the Dark Web can be used for extortion or to execute online scams and phishing schemes. However, certain types of data, such as access to personal accounts or password databases, can also be abused for reputational harm and other types of social damage such as doxing.
Doxing (opens in new tab) occurs when a person shares private information about another person without their consent in order to embarrass, hurt or otherwise put them in danger. Although doxing is becoming increasingly common online, 37 percent of millennials (opens in new tab) think they are too boring to be the victim of cybercrime, according to a report by Kaspersky.
Security researcher at Kaspersky's GreAT, Dmitry Galov explained in a press release (opens in new tab) that personal information is very much in high demand on the Dark Web, saying:
“In the past few years many areas of our lives have become digitized – and some of them, such us our health, for instance, are especially private. As we see by the increasing number of leaks, this leads to more risks for users. However, there are positive developments too – many organizations are taking extra steps to secure their users’ data. Social media platforms have made especially significant progress in this regard as it is much harder now to steal an account of a specific user. That said, I believe our research highlights how important it is to be aware that your data is in fact in demand and can be used for malicious purposes even if you do not especially have lots of money, do not voice controversial opinions and are generally not very active online.”
To avoid having your personal information stolen online, Kaspersky recommends that users be aware of phishing emails and websites, check permission settings on the apps you use, use two-factor authentication (opens in new tab) and always consider how the content you share online might be interpreted and used by others.
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