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How Much Is Your Identity Worth on the Black Market?

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How Much Is Your Identity Worth on the Black Market?

Have you ever wondered what hackers do with all of the data they steal on a regular basis? Sure, they could go public with it like they did with the Ashley Madison and Sony hacks, or they could sell it and make some quick cash. Credentials like passwords, usernames, Social Security numbers, and more, can be sold for top dollar in illegal markets, but how much can your identity go for?

Basically, when your accounts are hacked, criminals will often attempt to sell this information on the Dark Web; a place where only those on the anonymity network, Tor, can access. Most information that’s stolen consists of personal identifiable information and financial data, but hackers will often be content with making off with anything they possibly can. The most common industries targeted by these hackers are healthcare, government, retail, and education, but it should be mentioned that all businesses are susceptible to data theft of any kind.

As a business owner, it’s your job to make sure that this is prevented at all costs. The last thing you want is a hacker stealing your organization’s financial information or your employees’ personal information. Your organization’s information is much more valuable than you might think it is, especially to hackers. They will find value in any data, regardless of what it is. Here are some figures provided by ZDNet as to just how much specific credentials, accounts, and other sensitive information can go for on the Dark Web:

  • Mobile accounts in the United States can be sold for as little as $14 apiece.
  • PayPal and eBay accounts that have a significant amount of transaction history can be sold for around $300 each.
  • Supposedly, Uber accounts are in high demand.
  • Bank account credentials can sell for anywhere between $200 and $500 apiece, depending on how much cash is actually stored in them.

As you might guess, credit card information is in high demand. In fact, it’s almost comical how much thought is put into the process of selling a credit card number. According to ZDNet, the price varies drastically depending on supply and demand, as well as whether or not they’ll actually work and how much the buyer can get out of the card before it’s reported and deactivated. Most credit card information is sold in bulk to reduce the unit price.
Personally identifiable information is sold at $1 per line of information; in other words, someone could purchase your full legal name, Social Security number, address, date of birth, and more, for the price of a meal at a fast food joint. This is more than enough info to commit identity fraud.
Full credit reports can be purchased for $25 apiece. Other documents, like passports and driver’s licenses, can be sold for anywhere between $10 and $35 per document.

So, as you can see, data theft is no joke to hackers, and it shouldn’t be for your business either. The legal ramifications of allowing a large-scale data breach, including the theft of your business’s, employees’, and clients’ information, could result in extremely pricy fines, a loss of credibility, and in the worst-case scenario, the end for your organization. While one individual’s personal information might not have a big price tag, your contact database is a treasure trove to hackers.

The best way to avoid a full-scale hack that results in the theft of a significant amount of personal information is to implement a comprehensive security solution designed to keep threats out and eliminate suspicious activity on your network. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution is capable of providing a firewall, antivirus, spam blocking, and content filtering solution that’s designed with the safety of your organization in mind. Give us a call at (973) 882-4644 to learn more about how Quikteks can protect your organization from hacking attacks.