Criminals may buy the credit card information of millions of people from all around the world for as little as $1 on the dark web.
Millions of people’s credit card information is being sold to criminals on the dark web for an average of less than £8 ($10.60).
According to NordVPN’s analysis of over four million credit cards for sale on the dark web, credit cards from US citizens were the most frequent, accounting for 1.6 million of the 4.5 million examined. Approximately 135,000 of the card details examined belonged to UK residents.
The details for sale on the dark web are increasingly collected through brute-forcing, according to Marijus Briedis, CTO at NordVPN. “This is a bit like guessing,” he admitted. “Think of a computer trying to guess your password. First it tries 000000, then 000001, then 000002, and so on until it gets it right. Being a computer, it can make thousands of guesses a second.”
“After all, criminals don’t target specific individuals or specific cards. It’s all about guessing any viable card details that work to sell.”
According to Briedis, researchers believe that such an attack may take as little as six seconds.
According to the study, credit card details cost anything from $1 to $12 in the United States, with the majority costing around $4.
The most expensive card details, around $20, came from Hong Kong and the Philippines, while the cheapest, some as little as $1, came from Mexico, the United States, and Australia.
Apart from avoiding utilizing cards, NordVPN said there is little customers can do to protect themselves from this issue, but it is necessary to be aware.
“Review your monthly statement for suspicious activity and respond quickly and seriously to any notice from your bank that your card may have been used in an unauthorized manner,” said Briedis. “Another recommendation is to have a separate bank account for different purposes and only keep small amounts of money on the one your payment cards are connected to. Some banks also offer temporary virtual cards you can use if you don’t feel safe while shopping online.”
According to data revealed by Comparitech researchers in September, stolen credit card data sold for an average of $17.36 on the dark web, or around $0.00033 per dollar of credit limit.
Paul Bischoff, cyber security expert at Comparitech, said at the time: “Credit cards can be sold as physical or digital items on the dark web. Credit card details used for online fraud are cheaper and can be sent in a text message. Physical cards are usually cloned from details stolen online, but can be used to withdraw from ATMs.”
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