January 24, 2011, 12:40 PM — Botnets for hire to launch your own spam campaign and stolen credit card information sold at the rock bottom price of $2 are just two of the commodities easily found on the cyber-crime black market today, according to a report released this month by Panda Security. The report, which was conducted by PandaLabs researchers who posed as cyber criminals, details a vast criminal network selling stolen bank account information in forums and dedicated online stores.
Also see: 1.5 million stolen Facebook IDs for sale
"This is a rapidly growing industry and cyber-criminals are aiding and abetting each other's efforts to steal personal information for financial profit," Panda Security officials note in a release on the findings. "The cyber-crime black market, which has traditionally centered on distributing bank and credit card details stolen from users around the world, diversified its business model in 2010, and now sells a much broader range of hacked confidential information including bank credentials, log-ins, passwords, fake credit cards and more."
The report also delves into a detailed pricing system and the digital black market prices for various types of stolen information. However, PandaLabs discovered that while the information may be available, it can only be accessed by personally contacting the hackers who are promoting their information for sale on forums and in chat rooms.
Once the information is in a criminal's hands they can easily defraud any bank or credit card account long before the hack is discovered, the report claims. The data can be purchased for as little as $2 per card. But $2 will not provide the buyer with additional information or verification of the account balance available.
"If the buyer wants a guarantee for the available credit line or bank balance, the price increases to $80 for smaller bank balances and upwards of $700 to access accounts with a guaranteed balance of $82,000," said researchers.