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Stolen email accounts worth less than 1 cent each

Cybercrime analyst investigates just how much phishing pays in underground economy

Many phishing victims who have had their account credentials stolen are often left wondering exactly how much cybercriminals stand to gain from stealing their account details. Not anymore.

Reports have revealed that, on average, Yahoo email accounts are sold for less than one US cent (0.008 cents) while a Hotmail account is exactly a cent each.

Gmail accounts are worth considerably less, selling for 0.009 cents, when compared to AOL accounts that are worth a full three US cents.

“Well nothing will take the sting out of getting phished but maybe we don’t realise just how worthless our private details really are,” states cybercrime analyst and solutions architect for Trend Micro Rik Ferguson.

A single vendor that was investigated had over 5,000 Yahoo accounts, nearly 20,000 Gmail accounts and a 1,000 Hotmail accounts up for sale.

“As an interesting side note; on most of the forums I checked it seems the recession and deflation is also hitting the underground economy, with most unit prices dropping,” added Ferguson.

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