How much is your personal data worth to you? The answer is likely priceless, but cybercriminals have no issue adding a price tag to the information they glean from hacks.
While you yourself may not have been personally hacked, there have been enough breaches and hacks at companies, both local and international, to warrant concern.
This is because, as we will explore today, hackers collate information from various hacks and sell that information along.
But how much is that information worth? Thanks to Kaspersky we have an idea.
The cybersecurity firm analysed active offers for data on 10 international darknet forums and marketplaces.
Below are the range of prices for data on those forums:
As you can see you can pick up an ID and a selfie with documents for a maximum price of $70 (~R1 024) which is quite the bargain if you are a criminal looking to commit credit fraud.
In fact one could quite comfortably take over somebody’s life for $160 (~R2 455) using the pricing above as a guide. That’s less than a new console and incredibly concerning.
While we expected to see ID and credit card details on that list, selfies with documents comes as a bit of a surprise and brings into question how secure this form of identification really is.
The assumption is that if a person is holding their documents and takes a selfie, that image can’t be faked but if that image has been taken before that assumption is moot.
Not mentioned in Kaspersky’s data is password and email combinations for accounts.
The danger with these details being sold is that a hacker could ruin your reputation and you’d be helpless in stopping it.
“In the past few years many areas of our lives have become digitised – and some of them, such as our health, for instance, are especially private. As we see by the increasing number of leaks, this leads to more risks for users. However, there are positive developments too – many organisations are taking extra steps to secure their users’ data. Social media platforms have made especially significant progress in this regard as it is much harder now to steal an account of a specific user,” writes security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, Dmitry Galov.
“That said, I believe our research highlights how important it is to be aware that your data is in fact in demand and can be used for malicious purposes even if you do not especially have lots of money, do not voice controversial opinions and are generally not very active online,” Galov added.
The best piece of advice we’ve received is to assume you’ve been hacked and take steps to mitigate your risk from there.
Practice good cybersecurity hygiene, change your passwords regularly and when news breaks that a service has been hacked, take it seriously. You might just find your identity for sale online if you don’t.
[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]