Breach, Compliance Management, Threat Management, Data Security, Privacy

Report places a value to stolen data sold on the black market


While its no secret that stolen payment card information is valuable, researchers at Intel Security found the price of other types of stolen data sold on the digital black market can garner even larger sums.

The Hidden Data Economy report found that online payment service accounts that offer services similar to those of Paypal with balances between $5,000 and $8,000 can be sold on the digital black market for an estimated $200 to $300 per account, depending on how much additional information accompanies the data. Account balances between $400–$1,000 were sold for as much as $50.

Researchers also found that online streaming services such as HBO NOW and HBO GO account credentials can be bought for less than $10, while premium professional sports streaming services can be purchased for around $15. Researchers even spotted a hotel loyalty account with 100,000 points on sale for $20.

Meanwhile, basic payment card information can be bought for $5, while $30 per card in the U.S. will get the buyer details about the card's owner, such as full name, billing address, payment card number, expiration date, PIN number, social security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth, and CVV2. However, this level of premium information may cost as much as $45 per card in the European Union, according to the report.

Raj Samani, vice president and chief technology officer at Intel Security, told in an Oct. 15 email correspondence that several factors play into why the prices vary, including the scarcity of data and the difficulty of obtaining it.

"I would think that the prices for any stolen data are commensurate to the level of investment taken to extract the data," Samani said, adding "equally, market conditions are key, something like a stolen credit card already has an agreed price point. Therefore prices are based on what the market is willing to pay."

He said there is a return of investment element to the data set prices, but noted that ultimately the market will dictate price.

Samani predicted that information, such as login credentials, that grants access to systems within organizations' trusted networks will become the more valuable pieces of information on the black market.

“This is not intended to raise fear, but show people their data is being sold and traded online,” Samani said.

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