BeyondTrust

Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Pssst – Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy Some Data?

Post by Peter McCalister June 15, 2011

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.

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

Although the sale of stolen information often takes place completely underground 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.

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

The ease in 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 traditionally 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, log-ins, passwords, fake credit cards and more.

So, while chief security officers 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 that is seeking to supplement his bank account that could exact the most damage to your database.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

smart rules manager for vulnerabilities

Staying on Top of the Latest Vulnerabilities with BeyondInsight v5.1

It’s no secret that dozens of new OS and application vulnerabilities are revealed every day. Staying on top of these new exposures normally requires paying for services or subscribing to multiple RSS feeds. BeyondInsight 5.1 provides customers with another option: a built-in, customizable vulnerability alerting system that delivers up-to-date information on the latest vulnerabilities in…

Post by Morey Haber April 21, 2014
Tags:
, , , , , ,
BI-Qualys-Connector-IMG1

Getting More Value from QualysGuard Vulnerability Data with BeyondInsight v5.1

If your vulnerability assessment scans can’t produce meaningful and actionable reports, performing a scan does no good for anyone. If you’ve read my other blog posts, you know I have no qualms about stating that BeyondTrust provides the best vulnerability reporting in the industry. Ask your favorite analyst and they’ll tend to agree. Of course,…

Post by Morey Haber April 18, 2014
Tags:
, , , , , , , ,
insider-threat-fed

Mitigating Inside Threats to U.S. Federal IT Environments

Recent high-profile cases have increased the perceived risks that go along with disclosure and usage of confidential information. One of the most difficult security threats to mitigate is an attack from the inside. When an over-privileged user, such as an unhappy current or former employee, contractor, or consultant, begins navigating your network, how will you…

Post by BeyondTrust Software April 17, 2014
Tags:
, , , , ,