People can buy and sell all kinds of goods, products, and services on the dark web. One commonly found product is payment card information of credit or debit cards. Surprisingly, these cards sell for an average of under $10 these days, which seems like a bargain to carders and other criminals.
Payment Card Information Is Cheap
It is never a good sign when criminals can acquire vast amounts of payment card information. That problem is exacerbated by the low price it is being sold on the dark web today. For under $10, one can obtain payment card data on residents from over 140 countries. It is a worrisome statistic that is likely to worsen over time. Hackers and other criminals can quickly obtain this data from badly-protected eCommerce sites and other platforms.
Unsurprisingly, a recent analysis discovered how the US is the most prone to payment card information theft. Nearly one in four card details will belong to an American citizen. Considering how there are over 1.5 million sets of US payment card information for sale on the dark web today, the situation is dire, at best. However, the total amount of payment cards found for sale is closer to 4.5 million.
It seems plausible to assume that number is not the final tally either. Many card details are sold by other means than the dark web. IRC Used to be a popular place to buy and sell such information, even if it meant risking the payment card information would not work. In those days, Australian payment card details were somewhat exotic, yet Australia is now the second-most affected country for that data theft.
Despite the overwhelming amount of US payment card information on the dark web, the United States isn’t the most prone to this form of data theft. Instead, that title goes to Hong Kong. It has a maximum risk score of 1. That seems to indicate hackers purposefully target this region, which the Chinese government might influence. China’s government has a history of funding hacking collectives for various purposes for those unaware.
High-Priced Cards Still Exist
Surprisingly, the overall average price for payment card information is below $10. That doesn’t mean any card can be obtained for that price or less, though. Some “exotic” cards, such as those coming out of Hong Kong and the Philippines, can cost as much as $20. On the other hand, common cards, such as Australian, American, and Mexican ones, can start at $1.
Contrary to what one might expect, the payment card information is not acquired through malware or phishing. Nor through hacking, although that isn’t entirely correct. Criminals brute-force their way to this payment card information. Computers can make thousands of guesses per second to brute force passwords keeping that information safe from prying eyes. A very problematic development confirming security efforts need to be increased sooner rather than later.