Dell SecureWorks report warns that business is booming for the dark web as hacking gets more professional and profitable
Cybercrime has become so profitable in recent years that criminals are now charging less than a £100 to hack into an email account, according to new research.
The latest annual security report from Dell SecureWorks has warned that the continuing success of hacking campaigns mean that prices are falling across the world as criminals look to offer a more professional service.
It found that hacking into a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account could cost as little as $129 (£91), with corporate email accounts costing around $500 (£355). Credit and debit cards could be hacked for as little as $7 (£5), with a UK passport costing around $25 (£17.75), and access to a US-based Facebook and Twitter account priced at $129 (£92).
SecureWorks instructed two analysts from the company’s CISO INTEL Team to look mainly into Russian underground and English-speaking marketplaces between Q3 2015 and Q1 2016, tracking hackers on numerous forums and marketplaces all over the world, which it described as, “a small window into the world cybercriminals occupy”.
It also found that in order to tout their services, hackers were increasingly operating as regular businesses, looking to portray themselves as “honest, trustworthy and professional,” in advertisements.
Some were even willing to delay payment until “visibly results” were seen, revealing a previously unseen moral side, also shown by another hacker offering a free 5-10 minute DDoS attack trial to prove their worth.
Many hackers also offered a wide range of service, from hacking cards and email accounts to granting access to bank details, and even passport and social security templates, although not all of these had seen price drops.
For example, the cost of obtaining a Visa or Mastercard card details was just $4 (£2.84) in 2014, and the price of a counterfeit US passport had risen from $200-£500 (£142-£355) in 2014 to around $1,200-$3000 (£852-£2,130) now.
The price of several hacking services had also gone up in price, the analysts found, particularly when it comes to hacking a website to steal data, which now cost around $350 (£249), compared to around $200 (£142) a few years ago.
DDoS attacks are also more expensive, with hourly, daily and weekly rates all increasing from previous years – with the cost of an all-day assault costing between $30-$55 (£21.30-£39)
“Like any other market in a capitalist system, the business of cybercrime is guided by the supply and demand for various goods and services,” the report’s stated. “Unfortunately for the law abiding public, both sides of that equation remain strong, with everything from credit cards to hacker-for-hire services being sold online.”
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