How much your data is worth on dark web? NordVPN’s research has some answers

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The dark web is a hub of cybercriminals looking to buy, sell and share stolen data and hacking tools. But just how much is your data worth on the dark web? New research by cyber security firm NordVPN has some answers. For instance, an Indian passport can be bought for as little as Rs 776, which is the fourth cheapest price compared to the rest of the countries.

NordVPN analyzed one of the dark web markets that has illegally sold more than 720,000 items and data pieces for $17.3 million. The research shows that Indian items repeatedly appear at the bottom of the price list. Some of the top items found globally on the dark web were passports, personal IDs, driving licenses, email, payment card data, mobile phone numbers, online accounts, bank account logins, and crypto accounts as well as other personal data.

“This one market is just the tip of an iceberg. There are over 30K websites on the dark web at the moment. Keep in mind that only 4 per cent of the entire internet belongs to the surface web that is available to any user online,”  Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN said in a press statement.

Read more |Crypto scam victims lose more than $1 billion since 2021 – FTC

“The market that was analysed in our case study was chosen because it was used by some big hacker groups in the past, such as the one involved in AT&T data theft in August of last year,” he added.

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What’s the price?

Passports are the most expensive items on the list and are high in demand. Czech, Slovakian or Lithuanian passports were the costliest (average price Rs 294,813 ), and Indian passports were worth only Rs 776.  As per NordVPN researchers, price depends on many factors, including how difficult it is to fake a document, how widely it is sold, how commonly it is bought, and the checks and balances in place in a particular country that prevent fraud.

It should be noted that Indian accounts can be bought for a comparatively lower price because it is easier for hackers to hack into Indian social media accounts. A hacked Netflix account can be bought for Rs 751, an Rs Uber account for 930.9, and a Twitter account for as little as Rs 155.

Read more |How scam artists hack Twitter accounts to steal NFTs, cryptocurrency

Crypto wallets and investment accounts cost more than payment processing accounts and even more than some bank accounts. With an average price of Rs 30,567, the most expensive crypto account data is from Binance, followed by Kraken (Rs 29,791 ) and Crypto.com (Rs 27,153 ).

Researchers noticed that hacked Indian emails could be bought for as low as Rs 776. Meanwhile, the average price globally is Rs 1,241.

Indian items
Average price
Indian card with known balance
  Rs 454.6
Uber hacked account
  Rs 930.9
Netflix email+password
  Rs 751
Indian personal emails database
  Rs 776
Indian passport scan
  Rs 776
Twitter account (cookies included)
  Rs  155
Kraken verified account
  Rs 29,791
Fully verified CashApp
  Rs 18,927

Stay safe

NordVPN researchers have suggested some steps to stay safe and secure.

#Make sites and services earn your trust: Hackers get lots of data by targeting the websites and services you share your data with. You can’t personally secure the servers that store your data, but you can vote with your wallet or feet. Make your data security a priority. If a site or a service asks you for sensitive data, ask tough questions about how the company secures it and what it will do if its data is breached.

#Educate yourself: You can do a lot individually to protect your data. This will depend vastly on where you spend your time online, but you can be proactive and research ways to stay safe on the devices and services you use.

#Stay vigilant: One side of the coin is knowing how to protect your data, and the other is knowing how to react quickly and effectively when your sensitive data is used without your permission.

#Monitor your accounts: Request weekly bank statements or activate transaction notifications on your app. Turn on the security settings for all of your accounts so you know when login attempts are made from suspicious devices. Make use of tools offered by the sites or services you use.

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