On the dark web, a number of illegal goods and services, all drugs and weapons are sold in exchange for large amounts of personal data.
Recently, VPN provider NordVPN conducted an analysis of card data from more than six million cards that the company has found on the dark web. Here they found that 12,055 cards belonged to the Norwegians.
It can lead to identity theft
The card data is on sale, and for Norwegian payment cards the average price was NOK 59.99. The global average is NOK 74.
The maps the researchers found are just the tip of the iceberg. Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity consultant at NordVPN, says in a press release that the information being sold with these cards makes it even more dangerous.
5,000 of the payment cards that were for sale included the owners’ Norwegian home address, 2,200 phone numbers included, 3,200 cards included email addresses, and about 100 cards included the owners’ date of birth.
If a data breach or hack exposes users’ card information as well as other personal information, it could lead to identity theft, NordVPN warns.
more complex methods
Hackers usually obtain card data sold on the dark web through so-called brute force attacks, that is, when a criminal tries to guess the payment card number and CVV in order to use the victim’s card.
However, most of the cards NordVPN found in its investigations were sold along with the email addresses and home addresses of the victims, which it says are impossible to obtain with this type of attack.
– So we can conclude that it was stolen using more sophisticated methods such as phishing and malware, says Warmenhoven.
behind the Danes
While the UK was the most affected country in Europe in NordVPN research, Norway ranked eighth in the list of European countries affected by payment card fraud.
It was also the second most affected Scandinavian country, after Denmark.
However, NordVPN considers Norwegian payment cards to be vulnerable to fraud. According to the company’s risk index for card fraud, the Norwegian risk index for payment card fraud is 0.6 on a scale of 0 to 1.
More than half of the stolen card records analyzed came from the USA.
According to NordVPN, the price for stolen US cards was relatively low at NOK 72.58. The cards with the highest value were from our Danish neighbors to the south, who had an average card price of NOK 122.
NordVPN’s Adrianus Warmenhoven tells DinSide that the reason why the price of Norwegian payment cards is lower than the countries mentioned above is due to several factors.
– If there is a higher supply of Norwegian payment cards than demand, this may result in a lower price. He says that strong competition among sellers offering Norwegian payment cards could also drive down prices.
Tight security measures can make it more difficult for criminals to exploit Norwegian payment cards, reducing their market value.
Here’s how you can protect yourself
Security consultant Adrianus Warmenhoven says the methods used by criminals are becoming more sophisticated.
– However, it also means that informed users have less chance of being affected.
However, he does have the following tips on how to protect yourself from payment card fraud:
- Use unbreakable passwords: Use different passwords for each account and store your passwords in an encrypted password manager. Make sure your passwords are at least 20 letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Download the app from your bank: Use it to keep track of your finances, and pay special attention to any unusual movements. Some apps will notify you of all transactions in real time – just be sure to pay attention.
- Reaction after data breach: Change your username and password immediately if the company informs you that your information was involved in a data breach. If you have used the same thing elsewhere, you must change it there as well.
- Use anti-malware software: Anti-malware software will ensure that no malicious files are downloaded to your device and will protect you from information-stealing viruses
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