Regarding the so-called “dark” part of the Internet, there are a lot of strange things, including data of the most sensitive kind. New findings are now giving Norwegians cause for concern.
VPN provider NordVPN conducted a survey Which indicates the sale of large amounts of stolen personal data on the dark web in so-called bot markets – Norwegians are also affected by this phenomenon.
It affects more than 5,000 Norwegians
Bots in this context are “packets” of personal data that have been stolen, collected using malware and stored in what NordVPN refers to as “bot logs”. These logs are sold to malicious actors on the Dark Web, a phenomenon that, according to the VPN company, is becoming more common.
After investigating three major bot markets, NordVPN concluded that the personal data of more than five million people globally is being traded in these markets.
In a separate press release, the company mentioned that more than 5,000 of the victims are Norwegians.
Botnet markets also affect 15,000 Swedes, 8,000 Danes and 4,000 Finns, according to NordVPN. The average price for logs should be NOK 60, so it’s not particularly expensive to get the data from the malicious actors who buy it.
Lots of login data
Data is sold as packages and includes login information, cookies, and digital fingerprints. Additionally, the data includes screenshots of victims’ devices, images taken with the victim’s webcam, and data saved using the auto-form fill functionality found in most browsers.
When it comes to login information specifically, NordVPN found a total of 26.6 million stolen logins in the markets it analyzed. Among them were 720,000 Google logins, 654,000 Microsoft logins, and 647,000 Facebook logins.
667 million stolen cookies were found, as well as 81,000 stolen digital fingerprints. Digital fingerprints include details such as screen resolution, device information, default language, browser preferences, and other information that makes a user unique.
538,000 auto-fill forms were also detected in the bot markets analyzed. This is data that is stored via the auto form filling functionality found in most browsers.
Make theft easy
What sets bot markets apart from other marketplaces on the dark web is that they manage to collect large amounts of data about a single person in one place. After selling the bot, they guarantee the buyer that the victim’s information will be updated for as long as their device is infected with the bot, NordVPN CTO Marius Pridis said in a press release.
Cybercriminals can potentially cause untold damage with stolen information. Among other things, one can use the victim’s account for their own benefit after using the malware to steal credit card or online banking information. Private data such as private conversations, photos, and search history can also be exposed.
The data can also be used for social manipulation, or destructive activities such as deleting or locking victims’ accounts.
You can find more details about the results at NordVPN.
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