The market for stolen goods is bustling, as it always has. The only difference today, as opposed to 25 years ago, is the high-tech approach to crime. Instead of buying your new speakers out of the back of a van you can go online and purchase someone's identity, or at least parts of it, such as a credit card.
A new report from Intel Security Group member McAfee delves into the prices and packaging. It's surprisingly cheap to buy many of these things. Alarming may be a better word. Your credit card may be priceless to you, but not to others.
If you reside in the United States then your card goes for between $5 and $30. Folks in the UK are apparently a bit more valuable, fetching $20 to $35 each. That's the cheap stuff, though. Prices go up from there. If you'd like a bank login then you're looking at $190 and, if you want a stealth transfer of funds made to the US then you're forking over $500 for an account with a balance of $6,000.
"Like any unregulated, efficient economy, the cybercrime ecosystem has quickly evolved to deliver many tools and services to anyone aspiring to criminal behaviour", says Raj Samani, chief technology officer for Intel Security EMEA. "This ‘cybercrime-as-a-service’ marketplace has been a primary driver for the explosion in the size, frequency and severity of cyber attacks. The same can be said for the proliferation of business models established to sell stolen data and make cybercrime pay".
McAfee works with law enforcement to investigate websites, chat rooms and various other online marketplaces where these transactions are carried out. This experience enabled the security firm to create its report. Hopefully it will also afford it the chance to put at least a dent in this dark economy.