Internet underground economy accrues $5 Billion

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 26 November 2008, 05:40 Hrs   |    5 Comments
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Internet underground economy accrues $5 Billion
Bangalore: Conning in the cyber space has generated great business opportunities, with the cyberpunks minting billions of dollars through hacking personal accounts and selling informations online. As per a study, online credit card frauds bring a credit line in excess of five billion dollars, with U.S. card numbers being the cheapest and the most popular.

Infact, these swindles are a great booster to the web's underground economy, wherein credit card numbers sale contributes the most comprising of 31 percent of all goods on offer. Followed by it are the banking informations, which accounts for 20 percent are supplied through criminal chat channels. Apart from that spam and phishing information accounts for 19 percent, withdrawal service accounts for seven percent, identity theft information seven percent, server accounts five percent, compromised computers four percent and website accounts for three percent

The study conducted by Symantec, a developer of security softwares, found that many of the cards offered for sale were invalid or cancelled and bank accounts closed and added that the figures, however, indicate the value of the underground economy and the potential worth of the market. Moreover, the cards issued in Europe and the Middle East commanded a premium because they were relatively rare.

The company reached the five billion figure by multiplying the average amount of fraud perpetrated on a stolen card, $350, by the many millions Symantec observed being offered for sale. Infact, the study also pinpointed that if the hi-tech thieves plundered all the bank accounts offered for sale they could net up to $1.7bn.

The basic cause behind the boost is the existence of a ready market for any stolen data and the growing use of credit cards. "High frequency use and the range of available methods for capturing credit card data would generate more opportunities for theft and compromise and, thus, lead to an increased supply on underground economy servers," said the report.

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