A dark web case study by cyber security company NordVPN found that hackers can earn up to $17,3 million (R270,4m) by selling stolen data via online marketplaces. Documents, email addresses, accounts and financial information are the most sought-after and common items on dark web markets.
SA DOCUMENTS FOR SALE ON DARK WEB
South African data is among the cheapest in the world. An SA passport or ID can both be bought for as little as $9.99 (R156) – the fourth cheapest on the list.
For comparison, the most expensive passports – from the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia – cost $3800 (R59 240) on the dark web.
The report also shows that South African payment card data can be bought for approximately R143 while a batch of personal email addresses costs R156.
“In some ways, a dark web market is much like any other. Criminals who buy products on these criminal markets expect to make their money back and then some – the same way a tradesman might buy a tool at a hardware store,” said NordVPN.
Payment card data was the most common item on dark web marketplaces. However, the study found that crypto wallets and account login information were more valuable. The most expensive accounts cost an average of $349 (R5440).
Passports were the most expensive item. That being said, the price varied greatly between countries. The cheapest passport – from Argentina – cost just $9 (R140).
Emails can be bought by the batch. These personal email addresses are used by hackers to launch broad scams and hacks. The European Union had the most expensive personal addresses at an average cost of $11,4 (R178).
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