Criminals build $276 million underground economy

New report reveals startling value of stolen goods and fraud-related services advertised by criminals

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  November 26, 2008

The shady underground world where stolen goods and fraud-related services are traded online amongst criminals is worth more than $276 million, a new report by Symantec claims.

The report focuses on data gathered from underground economy servers between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008.

Using advertised prices of products and services and measuring how much advertisers would make if their inventory was liquidated, the total value of goods was estimated to be more than $276 million.

Credit card information was revealed as the most ‘advertised’ category, accounting for a full 31% of all the services offered by criminals. Stolen credit card numbers sell for as little as $0.10 - $25 per card but the potential worth of all the cards advertised was found to amount to $5.3 billion.

Financial accounts are another popular category where stolen bank account information sells for $10 - $1,000. After assessment, the entire worth of the bank account data came up to $1.7 billion for the reporting period, which is not a small sum.

While the underground economy is not restricted to a particular country or geography, North America is believed to host the largest number of such servers (45%). Interestingly, the EMEA region was found to host 38%, followed by Asia Pacific at 12% and Latin America at 5%.

3492 days ago

Has to be inside jobs and at high managerial positions, or else one will surmise the banks themselves have veru inadequate checks and measures.

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