What Hackers Do With the Data They Steal

Hacker activity is becoming more prevalent in the news from year to year. From the infamous leak of celebrity nudes to the infiltration of Dropbox, it seems that hackers are after more than just credit card details. The cyber black market has evolved into a veritable “hacker’s bazaar” that trades in a plethora of diverse types of stolen information. Some criminal groups have reached up to 80,000 people and made hundreds of millions in profit. Recent research has determined that the hacker market has, in some ways, surpassed the illegal drug trade in overall profitability.

What happened?Today we must not only worry about identity theft and financial losses, but now our social media accounts and personal photos are being used for a variety of malicious purposes. One profitable venture for hackers is data mining social media to update their password databases. These so-called “rainbow tables” are used by hackers to crack encrypted passwords. Consequently, Twitter accounts have become more profitable on the black market than stolen credit card information.

Another lucrative target for hackers is medical records. These files give enough personal information to allows hackers to create fake IDs and buy medical equipment that they can resell for profit. For some hackers, the value of medical records on the black market can be up to 10 times greater than credit cards.

The hacker market is highly competitive and continues to grow. With the abundance of tutorials available for hackers, such as “how to” videos on YouTube and documents for hackers at Google guides, it is becoming easier to learn the trade. Therefore, businesses, especially ones that deal with sensitive information, must take increasingly thorough steps to safeguard their data.

To talk about options to secure data for your business from hackers and cyber theft, contact us.