Criminals are selling the bank details of over 160,000 Britons on the dark web – for just £4.61 each.

Many come bundled with a ‘treasure trove’ of other sensitive information, including home addresses, phone numbers and National Insurance numbers.

Cybersecurity specialists NordVPN said victims were likely to have been hacked without their knowledge and were now at serious risk of identity fraud.

A trawl through illegal online marketplaces by researchers found the UK had the most stolen card details than any other country in Europe.

They were third globally behind the US and India – despite having a fraction of their populations.

Criminals are selling the bank details of over 160,000 Britons on the dark web – for just £4.61 each (stock image)

Criminals are selling the bank details of over 160,000 Britons on the dark web – for just £4.61 each (stock image)

Criminals are selling the bank details of over 160,000 Britons on the dark web – for just £4.61 each (stock image)

How to keep your data safe

  1. Use complicated passwords
  2. Sign up for two-factor authentication
  3. Download your bank’s app
  4. Change your username and password immediately if you’re informed of a data breach
  5. Use anti-malware software 

Source: NordVPN 

<!—->

Advertisement

One in ten people in the UK – around five million overall – are defrauded every year via their debit or credit card, previous research has found.

Victims lost on average £833 – however they are usually protected by their banks if it the payment was deemed ‘unauthorised’.

Overall, NordVPN found 164,143 British card details overall were listed on the dark web.

This is almost as many as the next two biggest European victims, France (97,032) and Italy (78,676), put together.

Just over half of these were debit cards and around a third were credit cards. They were sold for £4.61 on average each – a fifth lower than the global average of £5.61.

Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN, says: ‘The card numbers found are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to payment fraud.

‘This is a crime with a huge ripple effect and the extra information being sold makes it far more dangerous as a skilled criminal can use these to acquire more personal details.

Overall, NordVPN found 164,143 British card details overall were listed on the dark web. This is almost as many as the next two biggest European victims, France (97,032) and Italy (78,676), put together

Overall, NordVPN found 164,143 British card details overall were listed on the dark web. This is almost as many as the next two biggest European victims, France (97,032) and Italy (78,676), put together

Overall, NordVPN found 164,143 British card details overall were listed on the dark web. This is almost as many as the next two biggest European victims, France (97,032) and Italy (78,676), put together

‘Once an attacker has obtained the victim’s name, home address and email, they may even abuse legal methods, such as using the GDPR, to go further with identity theft or other malicious activities.

‘In the past, experts linked payment card fraud to brute-forcing attacks — when a criminal tries to guess a payment card number and security code to use their victim’s card.

‘However, most of the cards found were sold alongside the email and home addresses of their victims, which are impossible to brute force. We can therefore conclude that they were stolen using more sophisticated methods, such as phishing and malware.’

NordVPN’s Card Fraud Risk Index measures how likely payment information is to appear on the dark web, in proportion to factors like a country’s population and cards in circulation — along with the risks of it being sold with additional identifying data.

The UK ranked 22nd place on the index, with Malta, New Zealand and Australia the three most at-risk nations. 

Russia finished bottom of the risk index, indicating the country was primarily a perpetrator rather than a victim of card fraud.

Using different password for accounts can keep you safe online

Hackers can obtain breached credentials, like usernames and passwords, on the Dark Web – often for free. 

Or, they can obtain them by tricking people to signing up to new websites through a phoney system.  

Most people reuse the same credentials for multiple accounts they hold online, which means that once one account is breached, others may be vulnerable.

Or, they use the same general password and tweak it slightly for different sites to meet various criteria. 

Popular methods include adding a number at the end, adding capital letters or inserting a ‘special character’, such as an underscore.  

Cyber criminals can use software tools to test combinations of credentials in a highly automated bulk effort.

For example, if a victim enters a password ‘DerbyRam95’, the software will try variations, such as ‘DerbyRams_95’, ‘derbyram2020’, or ‘DCFCRams95’.

If they get lucky, the password entered to access a harmless TV streaming service will be very similar to one used to access online banking. 

Hackers will try to use this to see if they can access financial services, and deplete a person’s money.   

The best defence against this type of attack is to use a unique password for each site you have an account with.

There are various password management applications that can help you to keep track of all of these details in a secure manner.

You can also check whether any of your accounts have been breached using the website Have I Been Pwned.

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Supermassive black hole captured in stunning new image surrounded by group of ‘Spanish Dancer’ stars

A SUPERMASSIVE black hole has been captured in a stunning new image…

New Samsung Phones, Record Heat in Antarctica, and More News

Samsung is unveiling and Antarctica is ailing, but first: a cartoon about…

Covid deaths can be ‘significantly reduced’ if age groups don’t mix

People only socialising within their own age groups could ‘significantly reduce’ deaths…

Echo Flex less than £10 for Cyber Monday – 60% off cheapest Alexa speaker

BLACK Friday is at the end of the week, but Amazon has…