Feeds

ID profiles worth far more than credit card details to crooks

Follow the money

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Identity profiles are worth far more on the digital underground than credit card details.

Gunter Ollmann, a security researcher in the ISS security division of IBM, discovered that a list of 2,000 credit card details (including CVV2 codes and magstripe data) is worth about the same as 40 standard identities (ie name, address, phone number, social security number, and date of birth).

Complete banking identities - including full contact information, mother's maiden name, bank account number, and account password – can be worth eight times as much as standard identity details, depending on the bank. Although stolen credit card details rapidly go out of date, the same is not true for identities which are, of course, much harder to cancel.

"Identity" itself is now a form of currency, according to Ollmann, who reports that it's more common for identity information to be traded rather than sold.

One growing form of trade involves the login credentials to porn sites. Crooks may pay $250 for a batch of 7,000 logins. The logic of the purchases has little to do with porn sites themselves, but rather that people tend to use the same passwords for a range of different sites.

That also means hackers who break into a low-profile site to gain password credentials can use these identities to mount brute force attacks on more useful sites. Or sell login credentials onto third parties interested in attacking ecommerce or banking sites.

"Given the way new sites are springing up and how many passwords we're all expected to remember, I expect this attack vector to become more popular and more successful. Similarly, I'd expect the proliferation of these underground exchanges to increase and the price per password to fall over time," he writes. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.