Data breaches have become the new norm these days, as criminals look to exploit various types of information. To make matters worse, enterprises and even governments are not known for keeping that information safe from prying eyes. Interestingly enough, there are specific types of data that criminals want more than others, which is not entirely surprising either.
#3 Financial Details
The first and foremost type of data that criminals are looking for is financial information. This type of information includes bank account details, payment card information, and even logins and passwords for popular online services. Hacked PayPal accounts, for example, are a very common commodity of the deep web and will continue to be for quite some time. Most users are tricked into visiting phishing sites through emails allegedly being sent out by PayPal.
Exploiting bank account details or credit card information hardly needs further explanation at this stage, though. With this data, criminals can order items online, or if they have enough payment card data, use it to clone the card and withdraw money from ATMs. Speaking of which, malware attacks against these devices took place on a large scale earlier this year, and it is expected that things will only get worse in the next few years. By infecting an ATM with malware, criminals can copy card information and even register the PIN code.
#2 Medical Records
Another precious commodity on the darknet is medical data. Hospitals, as well as other healthcare institutions, are notorious for their lackluster security when it comes to patient records. In fact, it wouldn’t be the first time that criminals have obtained an entire hospital database, including patient names, medical histories, addresses, and social security numbers.
With this information, it becomes quite easy for criminals to conduct identity fraud. This type of fraud can range from getting prescriptions to opening fraudulent loan applications, and even registering a business in someone else’s name. Undoing all of the damage done by identity fraud is rather difficult, and can take several months to complete.
#1 Online Service Credentials
But the “credentials business” goes much further on the darknet. Although selling stolen Netflix or Spotify accounts may seem rather innocent compared to payment card details or medical information, these accounts still contain a lot of personal information. Moreover, it puts accounts at risk of being abused by third parties, which will only cause more problems for the original owner.
It is evident that breached data will eventually result in people’s entire digital identity being up for grabs to the highest bidder. Most consumers are very open about who they are and what they do in their digital life, which will result in even more sensitive data being obtained by criminals over time. This also means that email accounts and social media profiles are under constant threat.
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