The notorious dark web has always being a treasure of stolen information. Some of the most popular forms of data traded on the dark web are credit card information, details of social media accounts etc. A few days after Facebook announced a breach in its social network, a fresh batch of Facebook data was available for sale on the dark web, and the preferred mode of payment was the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
The Data Breach at Facebook
Facebook admitted last week that there had been a security breach in its network and about 50 million user accounts had been compromised. Now it seems that this compromised user data is making its way to the dark web and is available for sale. Although the authenticity of the user data cannot be verified prior to making a sale, according to a few sources at the Independent, this black market sale seems to be the real deal.
Criminals do get rich by selling stolen data, and most accounts information sells between $3 to $12. This indicates how invaluable such personal information is, especially when this information is sold in large-sized batches, which is often common practice when selling personal information on the dark web.
Also, it has become a common practice of using cryptocurrencies for transactions over the dark web. Many vendors prefer payments in Bitcoin, with Bitcoin Cash also gaining popularity on the dark web. It is remarkable that both these cryptocurrencies lack the anonymity and the privacy of Monero, and still, they are preferred over Monero in black market transactions.
Who are the Buyers?
For someone having access to a large volume of data such as 50 million Facebook accounts can be quite lucrative for a hacker. For instance, even if this data is sold at the lowest price of $3, the hackers still stand to make a $150 million payday. But finding a single buyer, or a group of buyers and multiple buyers for such data is quite a difficult task. Facebook has already identified the hacked accounts and can shut these accounts completely even with the slightest hint of any suspicious activity.
Even with a high probability of risk of these accounts getting closes, the interested buyers might try to use this data for their own personal benefit. This translates to chances of more data breaches in the near future. Social media users do not realise that most social media networks hold and stores and a lot of their personal information, some of which the user might not be aware of. It is not possible to predict how this information such as photos, personal details etc. will be used by the buyers of this information.
According to a UK based firm, Money Guru, by hacking into one’s social media accounts, hackers and users of this information can gain a deeper insight into a person’s personal life. There is a high probability that such stolen data is often sold to various specialised companies and at times, even the Government. As today, Data has become one of the most important commodities in the world, and social media networks have made it easier to harvest such details.