Dark Web prices plummet as supply soars
Over the past year, the dark Web data market grew larger in total volume and product variety. Unsurprisingly, as supply grew, most prices dropped significantly.
This was revealed in the 2022 Dark Web Price Index report from Privacy Affairs that examined dark Web data from February 2021 to June 2022. Data collection methods include scanning dark Web marketplaces, forums, and Web sites.
The report found that the number of items sold this past year is way up. Every one of the more than 9 000 active vendors selling fake IDs and credit cards reported sales in the several thousands of transactions this past year.
Also, more bogus credit card data, personal information, and documents were sold in 2021 compared to 2020, and the variety of grew, adding items such as hacked crypto-currency accounts and Web services such as Uber.
The report also show that as the dark Web market matures, the criminals who run it begin to mirror the legitimate economy, using methods that resemble conventional marketing and retail operations, such as offering two-for-one deals on stolen credit card details.
No new market leader
Prior to October of last year, buyers tended to use more established sites, which offered more security features and focused on customer service.
White House Market was the clear leader as the most active site in this regime, hosting approximately a third of the market’s approximately 9 000 active vendors.
However, in October, with little explanation, site administrators announced that they were closing the site, which shut down soon after the announcement. Although other sites, notably ToRReZ and the reconstituted AlphaBay, have moved to fill the gap, no long-term market leader can be identified at the moment.
Cloned, stolen credit cards
In December of last year, approximately 4.5 million credit cards went up for sale on the dark Web. Across the board, prices for hacked credit cards dropped, in some cases significantly.
The average price for credit card details ranges from $1 in the US, Canada, and Australia, to $20 each in Hong Kong. However, the general trend for these items was down.
Credit card details with an account balance up to 5000 halved in price from $240 to $120, and those with an account balance up to 1 000 went from $120 to $80.
Stolen online banking logins, with a minimum of 2 000 in the account also dropped from $120 to $65.
Other examples include, Israel hacked credit card details with CVV plummeted from $65 to $25, hacked (global) credit card details with CVV from $35 to $15.
Some fared better, with UK hacked credit card details with CVV remaining at $20, and the same in the US dropping only $3 from $20 to $17.
The company said bad actors prefer to sell the card details rather than take the money directly, as doing the latter is fraught with unnecessary risks.
“They do what they do best and earn their profit from selling this stolen data to felons who are comfortable with converting these details to cash either via dark crypto markets or some other scheme,” the company explained.
Since they also steal this type of data en masse, some card data might not actually work for a variety of reasons, which is factored in to the price. “However, considering they do this on a large scale their profit is pretty high.”
Supply and demand
According to Privacy Affairs, this data proves that data on dark Web is getting cheaper.
“This happens because hackers have collected lots of data, and there are an increasing number of hacker groups, and therefore more and more vendors too. The dark Web market is more like a real market, where new vendors enter the market and try to sell at lower prices, proving the supply and demand formula.”