Chances are when you think about someone stealing your credit card, password or identity, you imagine this person then pilfers your accounts or sets up fake ones using your information.
Instead, the thief — who is more often than not connected to organized crime — probably sells your confidential data on the black market, along with other stolen data. The cyber-crime black market operates much like other commodities markets, with prices rising and falling depending on supply and demand. Standard business practices include free demonstrations, minimum orders and even customer service reps. Underground, invitation-only chat rooms are the main “boards of trade.”
What this means is your stolen data is worth MORE than what’s actually in your account: it’s a commodity that can fetch a sum on the black market before it’s even used. All the more reason to be super-smart about passwords, malware, software patches, social sites and more.
Here’s a sample of the going rate for some items on the cyber black market:
- Online banking logins (depending on balance): $50-$1,000
- Bank transfers: 10%-40% of the total
- Credit card number (depending on added information like expiration date, security code and billing address): $1.50-$90
- Social Security Number: $1-$6
- Physical credit card: $190+
- Verified PayPal account: $50-$500
- Stolen identity (includes US bank account, credit card, date of birth and government issued identification number: $14-18
- Skype account: $12
- Valid Yahoo! and Hotmail email cookies: $3