The Threat Level of Dark Web Data

Dark Sinister Face

The Dark Web has continued to evolve with marketplaces operating similarly to Amazon and eBay, even including seller ratings.  Three of these marketplaces were recently surveyed by researchers:  “The Canadian HeadQuarters”, “Empire Market” and “White House Market.”   These marketplaces were chosen based on the low cost of personal and financial data available, as well as the abundance and low cost of “how to” fraud guides. These guides make it easy for cyber criminals with very little technical know-how, to carry out attacks.

Researcher Terbium Labs found the following breakdown of data being sold on the Dark Web:

Fraud guides   48%
Personal Data  15.6%
Non-financial accounts and credentials 12.2%
Financial accounts and credentials  8.2%
Fraud tools and templates  8%
Payment cards 7%

What are the Costs?

The unfortunate fact is that cyber criminals can purchase the abundant fraud guides for a pittance, ranging from an average cost for a single guide of $3.88, to $12.99 for a collection of guides. For this price, they can easily launch phishing attacks, credential harvesting, business email compromise, account takeover and other types of fraud.

As for personal data, the average price for a single record was $8.45, however, the price was sometimes as low as $1.00.  This type of data allows cyber criminals to more accurately target individuals and to impersonate them.

The Conclusion

The alarming conclusion to draw from these facts is that very little investment or expertise is required to perpetrate cyber attacks on your organization.  The payback for the cyber criminals and cost to your organization, however, can be considerable.  This, once again, highlights the need to ensure best practices and policies are in place to protect your computer network and data from cyberattack.  A layered approach of various defenses is required.  These go beyond a simple firewall and standard local antivirus software, which is less and less effective, having been designed in the 1990’s.

If your small or medium size organization would like to learn about how you can better protect your network and data, contact us today. We have solutions to fit your budget.  Don’t wait until it’s too late!