BeyondTrust

Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Black Market For Server Data Is Prevelant And Profitable

Posted December 5, 2011    Peter McCalister

The economy of cyber-crime is all too real—and too enticing. No longer sequestered to dark alleys and seedy bars, data thieves have almost unlimited options to market their ill-gotten wares to potential buyers. What this means to employers and organizations: the temptation to access and “appropriate” sensitive data may be too great for some to resist.

dave2

So just how easy is it for cybercriminals to sell data? Shockingly easy.

Although the sale of stolen information often takes place completely under- ground in secret, closed to the public credit forums, people who want to join these groups can locate them quite easily. Once vetted by forum administrators to ensure they are not from law enforcement, they are invited into the network to market and distribute their wares. According to Sue Walsh at AllSpammedUp.com in July 2009: “The personal information of at least 4 million Britons and a whopping 40 million others, most of whom are Americans, is being bought and sold online. This includes usernames and pass- words, credit card details, bank account numbers and more.”

And individuals need not even proactively seek out to divest an employer of sensitive, valuable data. Today, recruiters actively target individuals with lo- cal or specific data types, going so far as to even create job postings with such criteria as “an established relationship with local banks” as a prerequisite for crime family consideration.

The ease with which individuals can locate black market buyers of data should scare every employer who provides mid- to low-level access to any type of sensitive information. Like some bizarro-world eBay, many of these markets actually have incentive packages. Competing prices, additional services, free trials, money-back guarantees, and terms and conditions are all offered. Prices for data are qualified like any other commodity: data is priced based on the domain, if the account belongs to a real person, and how popular it is. It can depend on the number of followers, how commercial the niche is, and if the data is real or bot-generated. Prices for online banking and payment systems dependent on account verification.

To make matters worse, the cyber-crime black market, which has tradition- ally centered on distributing bank and credit-card details stolen from users around the world, has diversified its business model since 2010, and now sells a much broader range of hacked confidential information, including bank credentials, logins, passwords, fake credit cards, and more.

So, while CSOs struggle to combat an ever-evolving crime organization that morphs and changes in a nanosecond, it may be the guy in the cube next to you misusing privilege seeking to supplement his bank account who could exact the most damage to your database.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

Tags:
ghost

GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

Tags:
,
dave-shackleford-headshot

Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

Tags:
, , ,