Bloeiende ‘underground economy’

24 november 2008

Symantec heeft vandaag het 'Report on the underground economy' gepresenteerd. Het rapport 'details an online underground economy that has matured into an efficient, global marketplace in which stolen goods and fraud-related services are regularly bought and sold, and where the estimated value of goods offered by individual traders is measured in millions of dollars'. Het rapport is gebaseerd op gegevens die door Symantec's Security Technology and Response (STAR) organisatie zijn verzameld door 'ondergrondse' servers te benaderen tussen 1 juli 2007 en 30 juni 2008. 'As evidenced by the 'Report on the Underground Economy,' today's cybercriminals are thriving off of information they are gathering without permission from consumers and businesses', zo zegt Stephen Trilling, vice presiden van Symantec Security Technology and Response. 'As these individuals and groups continue to devise new tools and techniques to defraud legitimate users around the globe, protection and mitigation against such attacks must become an international priority'. Het rapport schrijft: 'Underground economy servers are black market forums used by criminals and criminal organizations to advertise and trade stolen information and services, typically for use in identity theft. This information can include government-issued identification numbers such as Social Security numbers, credit cards, credit verification values, debit cards, personal identification numbers (pins), user accounts, email address lists, and bank accounts. Services include cashiers, scam page hosting, and job advertisements such as for scam developers or phishing partners'.



De potentiele waarde van het geheel aan aangeboden frauduleuze goederen was meer dan 276 miljoen dollar voor de gerapporteerde periode. Deze waarde is bepaald 'using the advertised prices of the goods and services and measured how much advertisers would make if they liquidated their inventory'. Creditkaart-informatie is de meest aangeboden categorie van goederen en diensten in de ondergrondse economie, 31 % van het totaal. Terwijl gestolen creditkaartnummers verkocht worden van $ 0,10 tot $ 25 per kaart, ligt het gemiddelde op meer dan $ 4000. Symantec berekende dat 'the potential worth of all credit cards advertised during the reporting period was $5.3 billion'. Het rapport: 'The popularity of credit card information is likely due to the many ways this information can be obtained and used for fraud; credit cards are easy to use for online shopping and it's often difficult for merchants or credit providers to identify and address fraudulent transactions before fraudsters complete these transactions and receive their goods. Also, credit card information is often sold to fraudsters in bulk, with discounts or free numbers provided with larger purchases'. De tweede meest voorkomende categorie 'was financial accounts at 20 percent of the total. While stolen bank account information sells for between $10 and $1,000, the average advertised stolen bank account balance is nearly $40,000. Calculating the average advertised balance of a bank account together with the average price for stolen bank account numbers, the worth of the bank accounts advertised during this reporting period was $1.7 billion. The popularity of financial account information is likely due to its potential for high payouts and the speed at which payouts can be made. In one case, financial accounts were cashed out online to untraceable locations in less than 15 minutes'. Gedurende de gerapporteerde periode constateerde Symantec 69.130 actieve adverteerders en 44.321.095 berichten in ondergrondse forums. 'The underground economy is geographically diverse and generates revenue for cybercriminals who range from loose collections of individuals to organized and sophisticated groups. During this reporting period, North America hosted the largest number of such servers, with 45 percent of the total; Europe/Middle East/Africa hosted 38 percent; followed by Asia/Pacific with 12 percent and Latin America with 5 percent. The geographical locations of underground economy servers are constantly changing to evade detection'.

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