How Do Cybercriminals Buy and Sell Personal Data on the Dark Web?

There are now countless ways that malicious individuals can take advantage of unsuspecting victims online, including by stealing personal data. This data is often sold on the dark web, the basis of the Internet.

But how is the data sold there? And why is the data appearing on the dark web?

What is the dark web?

The majority of websites out there are publicly accessible to anyone online. The internet many of us are familiar with is used for streaming, online shopping, gaming and working, but there is another online space that can be used for more illegal activities. This is called the dark web.

You cannot access the dark web through traditional browsers and search engines. Although it makes up an important part of the Internet, it is designed to be hidden unless accessed through a special browser like Tor.

Many people associate the dark web with Silk Road, an online marketplace that can be used to buy any quantity of illegal drugs. And, yes, many people use the dark web for this purpose. However, a number of other products can be purchased on the dark web, including fake passports and degrees, malware, weapons, and sensitive personal information.

While not all sites on the dark web are used for illegal purposes, the anonymity it can provide has made it rife with cybercriminals and the personal data market for sure. certainly make up a large part of this elusive part of the internet. So, how and why are criminals selling this sensitive data on the dark web?

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Why is personal data sold on the Dark Web?

What many people don’t realize is that their personal data is highly valuable. There is no end to what someone can do with your personal data. They can make purchases with your money with your payment details, use your streaming account for fun with your email address, or even get free medical care with your social security number. your association. This is why markets for personal data exist on the dark web.

If cybercriminals manage to access enough data, they can make thousands, even millions, by selling it on the dark web. There are thousands of individuals using the dark web to purchase personal data to use it for their own benefit, and this market is only getting bigger over time.


Now, let’s find out exactly how cybercriminals sell data in this way.

How is data valued and sold on the Dark Web?

You may be wondering how these criminal dark web sellers get their personal data. This is often done through data breaches by large organizations. After cybercriminals infiltrate databases and steal large amounts of data, they often come to the dark web to sell individual bits or most of the data contained to users on the dark web.

For example, criminals can hack a shopping website to access an email address or a health insurance company to find a social security number. Either way, they can be a potential goldmine for sellers and buyers.

Once an individual’s data is for sale on the dark web, it becomes extremely difficult to delete that data. Most people don’t know that their data is being sold this way until it’s too late. This is why data breaches can be so dangerous.

The value of this data depends on what you can do with it. Payment card details are fairly common on the dark web, with prices varying depending on the data provided. For example, without CVV, the price would drop, as this makes the card less usable.

Cloned credit and debit cards are also used on the dark web. These are illegal copies of legitimate cards that can be used to make purchases with someone else’s money. They are especially valuable if a PIN is also provided.

Email addresses are another hot commodity on the dark web. They can be used to access any account they are linked to. Since people typically use one email address for everything, cybercriminals can often gain access to a wide range of accounts using this data.

Cryptocurrency exchange accounts are also sold on the dark web, as the rewards can be huge if the hacked account is storing a lot of crypto. As a result, crypto exchange accounts are among the most expensive types of data available to purchase on the dark web.

Another expensive product on the dark web market is malware. Malware is a type of software used by cybercriminals to hack devices and gain access to a wide range of sensitive information that can then be exploited. Of course, you can’t buy malware at your local tech store. You need to reach more illicit sources to do this, and the dark web is a prime candidate, offering things like Malware-as-a-Service.

There is a host of other types of data available on the dark web, including driver’s licenses, social media logins, and even home addresses.

How to pay for stolen data on the Dark Web

Dark web users know that using any type of traditional payment method can instantly identify them and possibly land them in legal trouble. So they turn to cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency is a popular payment method on the dark web because it provides buyers with anonymity.

Bitcoin is a particularly popular choice, given its popularity in general, but other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin are also commonly used. This illegal use of cryptocurrency contributes to the common misconception that it is used primarily for illegal activities.

Selling popular data on the Dark Web

Cybercriminals are increasingly gaining access to personal data in a number of ways. And, as we continue to entrust our sensitive information to more websites and companies, we increase the risk of our data being stolen through large-scale breaches. It’s really unknown how big the market for personal data will be on the dark web. All we can do is stay vigilant and try to keep our data as safe as possible.


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Sarah Ridley

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