Large hacks and cyber-attacks aimed at exploiting information, affecting everyone from major company databases to politician’s email accounts, have now become a common occurrence in our ever-connected world. This hacked information – and the act of accessing it – has rapidly become a sought-after product and service on dark web marketplaces. Coupled with the measures that cyber criminals take to stay anonymous through sophisticated tools and crafty research, the dark web is the ideal place for them to conduct business.
Equifax has analysed and compiled research from 2016 highlighting what is available on the dark web and at what price. According to the research, the most popular types of websites on the dark web are, unsurprisingly, those that deal in file sharing (29 percent) and leaked data (28 percent). With a huge choice of data for sale, financial information and login details are available at shockingly low prices. …
Dark web marketplaces thrive on lack of security; even the simplest of informational slip ups can be exploited. For example, using the same password for a range of accounts is a risky practice as once discovered, all accounts linked to that particular email or username can be accessed.
It’s also important to check privacy settings for social media accounts. Details such as birthdays and pet/parent names, often used as answers for security questions, can be learned and combined with data acquired from breaches for easy access. …
It’s clear that the dark web won’t be going anywhere – at least not for the foreseeable future. Although there are recent reports of mass website takedowns, it will continue to be used by all types of criminals for business.
The average internet user must learn to stay vigilant and be aware of where their sensitive information is stored, both online and offline. The chance of exploitation is greater than ever before, and proper responsibility in regards to data must be taken in order to stay safe.
The age old saying, ‘Knowledge is power’ has never been so relevant.