Symantec: Internet Underground Economy is Organized (And Lucrative)
Elinor Mills writes on C|Net News:
Symantec researchers spent a year observing the chat among cybercriminals on IRC channels and forums on the Internet between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008 and were able to piece together a veritable menu of malicious code, as well as dig up detailed information on the exchange of highly prized financial information.More here.
For example, credit card information accounted for more than 30 percent of all of the types of goods and services sold and was the most requested category. Bank account credentials were the most commonly advertised thing for sale on underground economy servers monitored by Symantec, with prices ranging from $10 to $1,000 depending on the balance and location of the account.
This is a lucrative business, Symantec has discovered. If the sellers were able to sell everything they were offering, the amount would reach more than $275 million. That represents just the sales amount. Factoring in the emptying of victims' accounts and maxing out credit cards, the potential worth of credit card information and bank credentials for sale would be $7 billion, the report estimates.