What is your stolen data worth?

What is your stolen data worth?
What is your stolen data worth? 

By Elinor Mills
News Blog
May 8, 2008

You think your personal information is priceless. But everything has a 
price, even your stolen bank account information.

McAfee Avert Labs has discovered a price list that criminals use to buy 
and sell credit card numbers, bank account log-ins, and other consumer 
data that have been filched from unsuspecting Web surfers.

"Last Friday morning in France, my investigations lead me to visit a 
site proposing top-quality data for a higher price than usual," writes 
Francois Paget of McAfee. "But when we look at this data we understand 
that as everywhere, you have to pay for quality."

For example, a Washington Mutual Bank account in the U.S. with an 
available balance of $14,400 is priced at 600 euros ($924), while a 
Citibank UK account with an available balance of 10,044 pounds is priced 
at 850 euros ($1,310).

There's even a guarantee that if the buyer is unable to log into the 
account within 24 hours, maybe because the owner of the data canceled 
the account, the buyer can get a replacement stolen account to use.

Criminals can even buy skimmers, fake face-plates for ATM machines that 
steal credit card data when the card is swiped, and so-called "dump 
tracks" used to create fake credit cards, the McAfee blog entry says.

This follows on news earlier this week from Web security company Finjan 
of the discovery of a server containing stolen consumer and business 
data. Finjan said it found a server controlled by hackers that had more 
than 1.4 gigabytes of data--more than 5,000 log files--stolen from 
infected PCs. The stolen data included consumer and business e-mails, as 
well as health care patient data and bank customer data from 
individuals, financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and other 
companies around the world.

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