SSN data doesn’t sell for millions. “How much does my SSN sell for on the darknet?”
The answer is “$4, and sometimes even less!”
Your Personal Information (when you acquire it, and then you lose it to data theft) may mean a fortune to you; but, on the darknet, it is worth less than a cup of coffee! The abuse and misuse of your Social Security Number (SSN) could cripple your financial health forever. Millions are stashed into the Darknet economy that is targeting US citizens, stealing their SSN and selling them to cyber-terrorists and ransomware groups. Each year, the US economy loses billions of dollars to identity thefts and ransomware.
The agencies running the stealing business are well-developed and sophisticated to stay hidden under a veil of the darknet. As the world moves closer to 100% digital identity-driven PII-based economy, where every transaction would be linked to your personal data, SSN identity thefts could cause incorrigible damage to global trust on digital benchmarks across various industries.
However, SSN data doesn’t sell for millions. If you were to ask– “How much does my SSN sell for in darknet?”
The answer is “$4, and sometimes even less!”
According to the Atlas VPN investigation, SSNs cost as little as $4 on the darknet.
Financial details are a bit more expensive. Access details to a compromised bank account with a $10,000 balance cost $25. Interestingly, the price also depends on the victim’s credit score. The better the score, the higher the rate.
Moreover, vendors sell forged documents as well. Physical passport prices range from $2,980 to $5,000, depending on which countries passport you need. US passports cost around 3,000 while less often requested ones, such as European passports, cost close to $5,000.
On to the last group of things for sale on the dark web – hacker services. Here, you can pay hackers to attack websites or even specific individuals. A one-hour DDoS attack costs around $165. Attacking a government or bank website will cost 2-5 times more.
Passport Data: The Most Expensive Asset in Data Theft Economy
Identity theft agencies are on a constant lookout to steal and forge personal documents provided by federal agencies. By the very nature of their importance, Driver’s Licence and Passports fall under the category of “risky” data sources that are forged on the darknet.
Did You Know the Prices?
For Passports, you get a filled template, and the cost of forged passport would cost you $18 or slightly more. Forged physical passports are available between the price range of $2500 and $5000.
According to a report by Atlas VPN, forged physical passport prices range from $2,980 to $5,000.
Access details to a compromised bank account with a $10,000 balance cost $25.
Credit card details with $1k-$5k balance cost $10.
A one-hour DDoS attack costs around $165. Attacking a government or bank website will cost 2-5 times more.
In secret forums, vendors sell services to fellow hackers such as Counter Anti-Virus (CAV) or money-laundering services.
Hacker Services Online
Hackers work like a nexus, defined within boundaries of their services. The hacker services available online start at $165. These include,
- Counter Anti-Virus (CAV) service, to sweep past antiviruses.
- Escrow service, to facilitate buyer-seller transactions.
- Money mule services – International money laundering.
- Cryptor services – Similar to CAV, but services use encryption techniques.
Effects of Identity Theft
There could be multiple effects of identity theft on your life. Stolen SSN can lead to a damaged credit score, impacting your eligibility to avail a motor or home loan, or buy a new credit card. For highly influential celebrities, SSN theft can push the victim into a tax debt cycle. In some cases, hackers used SSN identity data to fill erroneous information on a tax return filing form, resulting in loss of refund and damaged financial reputation.
Criminal data can also be inserted into SSN data theft marketplaces, forcing you to deal with the federal agencies looking.
In worst cases, you will lose time, money and financial health in the form of expenses incurred to identify data theft and seek compensation.
Experian recommends reporting any SSN or PII Data theft to the local law enforcement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. However, note that the Social Security Administrator (SSA) CAN’T FIX your credit record if someone has misused your Social Security number (SSN) to obtain credit.
In our next part, we will discuss the tools and technologies used to safeguard SSN holders from cyberthreats and data thefts.
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