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Stolen Credit Card Data Thrives Underground Market

A growing online market for snitched personal information is leading to an escalation in cyber crime.

Symantec, the Web security firm, divulged that a black market has emerged around the trade of purloined personal details, including credit card information, which nowadays can be bought for as less as 25p each.

Symantec's product marketing director, Con Mallon, informed that scammers were getting more and more tech-savvy and malevolent. Between March 2007 and August 2007, there was growth in the market and vast availability is bringing down the prices. On September 17, 2007 Times On Line reported that fraudsters have to compete to sell personal details.

Just six months back, credit card information, sold in batches of ten or twenty, were trading on Web chat-rooms and net forums for £1 each. Presently, four can be purchased for this amount. Symantec discovered that credit card information make up for nearly twenty-five percent of total personal details purchased and traded. The next common information phished by scammers is bank account particulars.

Symantec UK's consumer sales director, Lee Sharrocks, said that criminals were grossing up to £4,500 weekly vending personal details to other fraudsters, using hi-tech software to purloin data, as reported by The Independent on September 17, 2007.

Recent studies by Symantec prove that nowadays, hackers are very competent and smart, Sharrocks alleged. Such hi-tech online hacking methods necessitate users to be mindful of the current dangers and comprehend ways of defending their personal details. The Web black market is expanding at a shocking rate, with the underground auction sites mushrooming excessively. Sharrocks appended that this illegal industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with identities getting more inexpensive and convenient to purchase online.

The global credit information group, Experian, maintains that nearly 70,000 users were victims of identity theft in 2006. Symantec states that the number could exceed since it is tough calculating the number of people whose particulars are being phished, traded and used straight away. The study associates the decreasing prices of purloined information to an upsurge in "phishing", faking an account holder's bank or financial institution or firms like eBay, to acquire that person's account data and passwords.

Related article: Settlement Reached in Lawsuits over Hacked Data

» SPAMfighter News - 9/27/2007

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