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Cybercrime Market Prices Make for Big Business

It may not always be a bull market on Wall Street, but it certainly seems to be one in the cyber underground when it comes time to sell goods and services.

It may not always be a bull market on Wall Street, but it certainly seems to be one in the cyber underground when it comes time to sell goods and services.

According to a report from Dell SecureWorks’ Joe Stewart and David Shear, the cost of distributed denial of service attacks is broken down by attackers per hour ($3 to $5), per day ($90-$100) and per week ($400-600). An American Express credit card? Seven dollars. Bank accounts with $70,000-$150,000? Three hundred dollars or less, depending on the institution.

“As always, there is no shortage of stolen credit cards, personal identities, also known as Fullz, and individual social security numbers for sale,” blogged Elizabeth Clarke, vice president of corporate communications at Dell SecureWorks. “However, the hackers have come to realize that merely having a credit card number and corresponding CVV code (Card Verification Value–the 3 or 4 digit number on one’s credit or debit card) is not always enough to meet the security protocols of some retailers. Hackers are also selling cardholders’ Date of Birth and/or Social Security Number. Having this additional information would allow a hacker to answer additional security questions or produce a fake identification, to go along with a duplicate credit card.”

The business of selling compromised computers is also booming. The price per computer typically decreases when they are purchased in bulk, for example, $20 for 1,000 bots and $90 for 5,000, the researchers found.

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“Infected computers in Asia tend to sell for less,” Clarke blogged. “It is thought that infected computers in the U.S. are probably more valuable than those in Asia, because they have a faster and more reliable Internet connection.”

Stewart and Shear also discovered that remote access Trojans (RATs) used by attackers can cost from $50 to $250. Many of these Trojans are sold with a program to make them undetectable to antivirus, though that can cost an additional $20. The cost of exploit kits varies widely, with the Sweet Orange Exploit kit available for lease at a price of $450 a week, while the Blackhole kit was available for $1,500 a year at the time its alleged creator was arrested this year.  

“For the most part, it does not appear that the types of hacker services and stolen data for sell on the hacker underground have changed dramatically in the past several years,” Clarke blogged. “The only noticeable difference is the drop in price for online bank account credentials and the drop in price for Fullz or Personal Credentials.”

“In 2011, we also saw hackers selling Fullz for anywhere from $40 to $60, depending on the victim’s country of residence,” Clarke added. “Fullz are now selling between $25 and only go up to $40, depending on the victim’s location. Dell SecureWorks believes the drop in prices further substantiates that there is an abundance of stolen bank account credentials and personal identities for sale. There is also no shortage of hackers willing to do about anything, computer related, for money, and they are continually finding ways to monetize personal and business data.”

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Marketing professional with a background in journalism and a focus on IT security.

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