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Personal Details of 4 Million Britons Posted Online for Sale

According to a news report of The Times, London, published on July 18, 2009, personal identities of over 4 Million British residents have been posted on Internet for sale.

This information represents extremely sensitive data as it consists of bank account and credit card numbers, PINs, telephone numbers and other confidential particulars.

The newspaper also reports that a lot of the private information of the individuals has been collected through the act of online phishing whereby unwitting victims divulged their information via e-mail to people pretending to be reputable sources like online stores or banks. Other types of information have been filched after cyber-criminals especially hackers and malware distributors have infected people's PCs with viruses and subsequently infiltrating them for data.

Following these thefts, cyber criminals sell the data on hacking websites or online forums to individuals offering the highest price, security analysts say. For instance, the selling price of credit card particulars is 30p.

Moreover, The Times states that e-mail and other communication systems of major private companies and public bodies in Britain are at risk of Internet attacks. The reason being corporate passwords and e-mails have been handed over to cyber crooks for money. Similarly, details of doctors, military personnel and policemen are also in danger.

Security intelligence reports that Lucid Intelligence a British firm, has intercepted this malicious online sale of data. Besides British residents, another 40 Million identification details of consumers from all over the world have been posted for sale, with most of these hacked/phished details belong to the US nationals.

The security analysts state that people should not be astonished on the fact that the maximum risk is for the people of America as far as the figures of online sale of personal information are concerned. The most recent Brandjacking Index from MarkMonitor released during June end week 2009 reveals that the maximum number of phishing sites are hosted in the US, growing from 36% in Q1-2009 to 46% in Q2-2009.

Thus, in view of this major fraud, security experts advise all surfers to exercise utmost caution when online.

Related article: Personal Security Fears Weigh On Aussies, Kiwis

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