Here’s How Much Your Social Security Number Is Worth on the Dark Web
If you’ve ever wondered how much your Social Security number is worth, here’s a hint: About as much as your password to a pornographic site.
Account-monitoring company LogDog on Wednesday published its findings on how much personal information is being sold for on the Dark Web, places on the Internet where the vast majority of users don’t go, and where everything from drugs and illegal pornography to stolen credit cards are bought and sold. The company found that buyers are currently willing to pay just $1 for a Social Security number, which is the same amount they’ll pay for user and password information to Brazzers, a pornographic website. Access to someone’s PayPal (PYPL) account is the most valuable asset at up to $80, depending on the available balance.
The Next Web earlier reported about the report.
People often access the Dark Web, or underground Internet as it’s also known, using anonymizing technology like Tor to obfuscate their IP address and conceal their locations from law enforcement. While using anonymizing technology is no guarantee for staying anonymous, it does make the search by law enforcement exceedingly difficult.
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Once accessed, the Dark Web presents a host of opportunities for hackers and thieves. Indeed, there are a number of sites where people can buy drugs or guns, among other things. For hackers who have obtained data, the Dark Web has also become a place to sell account login information. Often, they use Bitcoin, an encrypted currency that shrouds its owner’s identification, to make transactions.
According to LogDog, online accounts have become a “hot commodity” on the underground web, but not always for the same reason. Uber accounts, for instance, are perfect for those who may want to take free rides and don’t want to pay much to do it—each account costs between $1 and $2. Netflix (NFLX) accounts, which also range in price from $1 to $2, are ideal for video-streamers. While obtaining Social Security numbers are useful for stealing identities, it appears they aren’t all that desirable to would-be fraudsters.
So, what is actually appealing? According to LogDog’s data, dating sites can fetch a bundle, with single accounts on eHarmony going for $10.
Still, it’s all about cash.
For more about the Dark Web, watch:
“This trend has gotten to a point where there are now stores completely dedicated to selling only online accounts, without even offering credit cards for sale,” LogDog wrote in a statement. “Fraudsters, it appears, have discovered the financial potential in targeting various online services instead of just banks and credit card issuers, which has led to this shift in the proliferation of underground online account stores.”