The Dark Web is a well-known hacker haven and an online market for compromised personal data. But how much is your online information really worth to online fraudsters?
Over a thousand pounds? Maybe ten? With the kinds of sensitive information available across the dark web - such as Paypal login details, your passport, all the way down to an Uber login (you may have listened to the Reply All episode about this), you’d expect hefty costs.
Well, turns out it could be a lot less than you may think… In fact, you can purchase all the above and more for less than £820 - less than the price of an iPhone X.
According to the UK’s first Dark Web Market Price Index by Virtual Private Network (VPN) comparison service Top10VPN.com, it turns out you can purchase personal logins aplenty for far cheaper prices than even I anticipated.
This information was found by a team of security experts, who reviewed tens of thousands of listings on three of the most popular dark web markets - Dream, Point and Market.
Average price of user's personal data (GBP £)
“There’s a real concern that with such valuable information changing hands so cheaply, there’s nothing to prevent would-be fraudsters from buying up much as they can in the hope of striking it lucky and draining victims’ bank accounts and credit lines,” Simon Migliano, Head of Research at Top10VPN.com commented.
“What’s interesting though is that everything seems to have a price on the dark web. This is because it’s not just hacked Paypal accounts and credit cards that represent opportunities for fraud. Many other online accounts contain enough personal info to enable identity theft. It’s also increasingly normal to store payment details in online shopping accounts.”
You may also be thinking why hackers are interested in your Instagram or even your match.com logins? Well these, as well as maybe your Tesco account or Deliveroo login details, are handy for identity theft. Many internet users hold the same username and password for many different accounts, making it super easy to access/steal identity information. Not only that, but these accounts have various, more imaginative applications.
“Some of the accounts we found for sale open the door to even more ingenious scams. A hacked Airbnb account, for example, could allow a scammer to pocket hundreds in booking fees or even stay at high-end properties as a guest and burgle the hosts. At less than £6 initial outlay, that’s very appealing to a cybercriminal,” Simon continued.
“Our research is a stark reminder of just how easy it is to get hold of personal info on the dark web and the sheer variety of routes that fraudsters can take to get hold of your money. This really underlines the importance of two-factor authentication and more generally, secure use of websites and apps.”
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.