The marketplace that will sell you a $ 20,000 bank loan for $ 30


Wikipedia defines the dark web, sometimes also referred to as dark net, as part of the internet that exists in an encrypted world of networks within networks.

Requiring specific software to access the dark websites themselves, most often the Tor browser, this little corner of the internet is both an anonymous haven for whistleblowers and political activists, as well as a marketplace. very profitable where criminals sell their ill-gotten assets.

Flashpoint Intelligence analysts have looked at the economics of cybercrime through the prism of dark web market prices over the past two years. Everything is for sale here, from a $ 20,000 bank loan for next to nothing, to services that will attack sites and services on a rental basis.

Coming from the most popular cybercrime markets, some of which have been closed now, as my colleague Zak Doffman wrote earlier this year, prices remain representative of the dark web as a whole today.

The dark web economy

On September 13, I wrote about how an earlier dive into the dark web economy by researchers at the Armor Threat Resistance Unit revealed that it was possible to trade $ 800 (£ 630) worth of Bitcoin for $ 10,000 (£ 7,900) in cash. At the time, it looked like an unbeatable deal for those willing to break the law and face jail time. And then along came the Flashpoint analysts who found even bigger illicit “good deals” in these dark web markets. Access to a compromised bank account, known as a ‘bank journal’ in cybercrime parlance, with a balance of $ 10,000 (£ 7,900), could be yours for $ 25 (£ 19.75 ), for example. While personal information packages that allow a criminal to steal the victim’s identity, or “fullz” as they are called, and secure a promised bank loan of $ 20,000 (£ 15,800) were on offer for just $ 5 (£ 4) more. If that sounds cheap, fullz packages start at around $ 4 (£ 3) as they are considered a staple in these circles.

Ian Gray, the Flashpoint intelligence analyst who wrote the report published Oct. 15, said: “Fullzs that include the victim’s financial information are often more expensive because they can be used for a wider variety of fraud schemes than Personally Identifiable Information (PII) without that information.” Some of the resellers in the market even rate their fullz packages based on the credit rating attached to the individual, with a correlation between the asking price and the score level.

It’s not just cash for sale on the dark web

Because these dark web markets by their very nature attract the criminal element of society, the articles on offer reflect this. So alongside a database believed to contain the personal information of some 92 million Brazilian citizens, auctioned off with a starting price of $ 15,000 (£ 11,875), you can also find drugs, at the both medicinal and recreational, weapons and passports.

The passport market is particularly interesting and can be divided into three broad categories. The cheapest are the scanned passports with the buyer’s information entered starting at $ 5 (£ 4), and the most expensive are the actual physical passports, which can cost up to $ 5,000 (£ 4000). However, the most popular category is the passport. model allowing the buyer to complete his information. The price of these models varies, but the report found US passports of this nature for $ 18 (£ 14.25) with Canadian passports costing $ 26 (£ 20.50) and the Netherlands at $ 50 ( £ 40) being the most expensive.

The variety of products for sale on the dark web doesn’t end there. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are sold “as a service” with criminals renting time on their DDoS attack botnets. “Most of the attacks remain focused on video game cheating and personal harassment,” Gray said in the report, which is reflected in the low rental costs starting at $ 0.35 (£ 0.28) for ten minutes, $ 25 (£ 19.75) for a day. and the larger money limited to offers such as the Five Hour Attack on Any Site which was priced at $ 250 (£ 197.50).

Although cybercrime continues to flourish and threat actors become increasingly sophisticated in their attack methodologies, the Flashpoint report reveals that a large portion of illicit product prices have been relatively static over the past two years. years. It’s not entirely surprising, if I’m being honest. The buyer bears a higher risk than the seller in these transactions. The anonymity offered, although not always provided by dark web networks, means that the seller feels relatively secure. The buyer, on the other hand, must come out of the shadows to profit from his purchases. The risk of getting caught and the considerable legal consequences that this entails make these dark web sites a buyer’s market, hence the low prices.


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