By Elinor Mills
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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