This is easy money for cybercriminals, which is why one cybersecurity firm is warning of more campaigns to steal personal data.

Earlier this year, the personal details of 500 million Facebook users were leaked online, including their phone numbers, email addresses and location information. Now, Check Point technologies is warning that the leakage of personal data such as driving license and passport details is set to increase on the Dark Net.

According to the cybersecurity firm, such data is prized by cybercriminals because it can reveal individuals’ login credentials for online accounts. Credit card details can sell for between US$12 and US$35, while stolen online banking credentials to accounts with a minimum balance of US$2,000 can fetch US$65 on the Dark Net. The access credentials to a user’s Gmail account sell for up to US$150.

Said the firm’s said regional director for South-east Asia, Evan Dumas: “Personal data and account credentials are a key commodity on the Dark Net, which means criminals are always looking to steal them in order to make a profit for themselves. It’s critical that consumers as well as organizations protect their computers and data, and also understand how to be able to detect the types of cyberattack tactics that criminals use when trying to breach systems and steal data.”

Last year, the number of publicly-disclosed breaches of sensitive data from organizations had actually fallen by 48% compared to that of the year before, but the volume of records compromised by breaches had jumped by 141% to 37 billion. With the cumulative massive leaks of data on dark forums and websites, the firm is reminding readers of the five key preventive actions:

  • Never use the same password on multiple accounts 
  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited password-reset emails
  • Keep security software and application software patching up to date
  • Adopt multi-factor authentication wherever possible

To maximize the chances of protection, threat detection systems should be installed and activated.