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No limits for data traded on the dark web PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 May 2016
Following the discovery of over 270 million stolen email account passwords being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, John Marsden, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax comments on the true depths of the dark web, and why consumers should be alert and vigilant regarding their personal data: 

“Once data is stolen and shared online it can’t be treated as a one-time event; it never truly vanishes and can spread globally in a short amount of time. Whole businesses’ exist that research the identities relating to stolen data to add additional elements and make it more valuable.

“The most commonly reported issues associated with ID fraud are ID takeover, often fuelled by the underground markets for personal details. The details for sale vary from simple email passwords to full financial information. These details can be used to fraudulently obtain or takeover accounts, and often the fraudster fully understands the facilities and defences involved in the application and account management processes.

“Attacks are carefully planned and orchestrated. We still see a large amount of more traditional organised crime, where the individuals involved are physically associated, but more often the dark web is being used to connect fraudsters offering specialist ‘services’ that contribute to an overall fraud.

“Much resource is being poured into educating consumers on the need to be vigilant. As humans we have a tendency to believe that ‘it will never happen to me’. Consumers are also inclined to rely on the fact that their providers will often be liable for the financial impact. For example if compromised card details are used for a transaction, it almost always has little impact on the consumer. However, deeper ID fraud creates havoc for the individual and more needs to be done to help consumers to understand this. This latest attack is an important reminder of the fallibility of email accounts, and people must be wary of information they send through these accounts.”

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