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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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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.

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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.

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Additional articles

CyberResiliency

6 things I like about Gartner’s Cyber Resiliency Strategy

Posted August 27, 2015    Nigel Hedges

There were 6 key principles, or recommendations, that Gartner suggested were important drivers towards a great cyber resiliency posture. I commented more than once during the conference that many of these things were not new. They are all important recommendations that are best when placed together and given to senior management and the board – a critical element of organisations that desperately need to “get it”.

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Why Customers Choose PowerBroker: Flexible Deployment Options

Posted August 26, 2015    Scott Lang

BeyondTrust commissioned a study of our customer base in early 2015 to determine how we are different from other alternatives in the market. What we learned was that there were six key differentiators that separate BeyondTrust from other solution providers in the market. We call it the PowerBroker difference,

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Mac-Security-Enterprise

On Demand Webinar: Security Risk of Mac OS X in the Enterprise

Posted August 20, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In the last several years, Mac administrators have come to realize that they may be just as vulnerable to exploits and malware as most other operating systems. New malware and adware is released all the time, and there have been serious vulnerabilities patched by Apple in the past several years, some of which may afford attackers full control of your systems.

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