The Economics of Identity Theft in the Dark Web

If you ever want to find a reason to boycott the Internet, just go work for a security vendor.  The digital universe is a scary place, and the cybercriminals who operate within it never cease to amaze me with the level of sophistication they harness in their Dark Web businesses.

The black market, although rife with criminal elements, are real businesses which leverage the same economic principles that guide every legitimate business.  The same way you buy a great new coat off the clearance rack of your favorite retailer at the end of the season for pennies on the dollar, cybercriminals selling stolen accounts and credit cards in the underground have their own blowout sales.  Fresh off a data breach, stolen cards can go for upwards of $50 or $100, but once the supply floods the market or the data gets stale, a “clearance” sale will ensue with prices going down to under $1 a card in some cases.

The same is true for malware kits, botnet rental services, stolen e-commerce accounts, healthcare records, prescription drugs, or any other goods or services which may be for sale.  The economics of identity theft go by the same rules of any merchant in the real business world.

Recently, RSA conducted a broad analysis of many top black marketplaces to see the average current Dark Web prices.  Check out the infographic below to see the value of your identity on a cybercriminal’s shopping list.

2016 Cybercrimminal Shopping List

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