The trade of stolen personal and institutional data has been rampant in the dark web in recent years.
Financial institutions have, in particular, suffered the most under this illegal vice.
Bank data is in high demand on the dark web. Hackers are working around the clock trying to infiltrate bank systems.
Banks and other financial institutions have been on high alert too.
Massive infiltration could spell doom for them. Stolen bank data is usually sold on the dark web and used to siphon money from the bank.
Law enforcement agencies have also come in strongly to try and curb the vice.
But despite all these efforts, bank data trade on the dark web continues to thrive.
Recent research published by IntSights Cyber Intelligence reveals that bank data sales have been increasing by 135 percent year after year.
A Staggering 135 Percent Increase
The dark web has been bursting at the amount of financial data up for sale.
The dark web’s hackers usually infiltrate the bank systems and steal the data, then sell it on the dark web since they don’t want to get their hands dirty.
The current trend should bring more worry to financial institutions if the latest statistics by IntSights Cyber Intelligence are anything to go by.
IntSights Cyber Intelligence is a cyber risk analytics firm based in New York. They released their Financial Services Threat Landscape report earlier this month.
The report has put the annual increase of the amount of bank data for sale in the dark web at a staggering 135 percent.
The report also put the increase in credit card information in the last 18 months at 149 percent.
The research involved 50 banks from the United States and Europe.
A single account login could be sold for between $20 and $40 on the dark web. These credentials are at times sold in blocks of 1,000, with each block fetching up to $5,000.
The hackers selling the bank data are certainly in a lucrative business.
The buyers go on to spend the money available in the accounts since they have access.
The accounts targeted are always those with huge balances.
The credentials are used to make small purchases online that will not raise much alarm.
The credentials can generate up to 10 times worth of what they are sold for on the dark web.
Financial institutions and, at times, individuals have lost billions of dollars through these scams.
This trend indicates that the banks may be losing more money to criminals than they would want to disclose.
The trend also points to an ever-rising demand for the bank data on the dark web. The supply wouldn’t be as much if there were no demand.
There wouldn’t be demand either if those buying the information were not profiting from it.
According to The Sacramento Bee, U.S. banks were suffering a total loss of $10 billion through credit card scams by 2017.
This is yet to raise high alarm in the banking sector still, given the abundance of $4 trillion expected to be spent on credit cards in the U.S. by the end of this year.
If the current trend continues, it won’t be long before a resounding alarm is raised though.
The number of attacks on financial institutions continues to rise. Through the first half of 2017, on average, 207 attack attempts were noted per bank in the U.S.
However, that number has spiked up to 520 by the end for the first half of 2018.
Many of the attacks target online money transfer systems such as SWIFT, as well as e-banking interfaces.
Bank data theft is thriving and it’s just about to turn into an epidemic. Pointing fingers at any one of the players involved won’t help much.
Banks and law enforcement agencies have to double their efforts to ensure bank customers do not lose their hard-earned money.
There is a myriad of dynamics in the ecosystem that bring along these challenges.
Ranging from the recent boom in e-commerce, weak online money transfer systems to insecure bank systems, these challenges need to be addressed collectively.
An increase of 135 percent in such scams only means the scammers are finding it easy to profit from them.