Nowadays, hackers are more cunning than ever, and shine with ingenuity in crafting schemes to steal your data or even take possession of your computer or smartphone and use it without your knowledge in order to perform tasks that will earn him money.
Establish an inventory of stolen data
The hackers will begin by making an inventory of the data that has been stolen. They will first look for the different elements of online identification of users such as username, email addresses and passwords.
They will then look for all administrative and legal information such as names, birth dates, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and of course also financial information such as credit card details. Much of this information can be used later in future online attacks or for scams purpose.
4. Sell the Personal Information
Generally, online credentials such as email addresses and passwords are resold to the black market on the darknet. They will then be used by other groups of hackers to make spam, or to try to connect to the different social networks with which these email addresses can be associated and attempt to impersonate the identity of the account.
3. Target Data That’s Worth the Most Money
And what do they do with the administrative and legal information ? Be aware that this data can be worth much more than your credit card number. Indeed, it is very common for unscrupulous advertising agencies to buy this information and then implement targeted advertising strategies for the individual.
But hackers can also browse their files looking for potentially lucrative accounts. Email addresses of public person, government or very large companies are very valuable.
Generally still in our time users do not generally take care of the complexity of their passwords. Many people often reuse the same password from one site to another, making the task even easier for hackers.
2. Sell the Financial Information
Financial information such as credit card numbers but also access to compromised Paypal, Western Union or Skrill accounts are usually sold in bulk on the darknet.
We will not list the different techniques used by the hackers, however the path taken by the stolen data is usually as follows. The hacker with good contacts on the darknet can sell this information in batches of ten or a hundred to “brokers“. Subsequently these “brokers” resell this information to “carders“.
The information will then be exploited in fictitious product purchases, in the purchase of gift cards on Amazon or even in online transfers. All techniques to get money being good for the carders.
According to a recent study published by McAfee, on the darknet the price for a full credit card information including the expiry date and the CVV code is between $3 to $8 depending on the type of card such as Visa, MasterCard, AMEX etc … And the issuing bank country of origin.
As we told you above, hackers but also carders can implement techniques much more sophisticated to burn your credit card.
For example, a carder can create two online poker accounts. The first account will be associated to itself and the second account will be associated to the compromised credit card and thus initiate a game of poker where we can already imagine who will win.
1. Using your computer without your knowledge
The time when the hackers was looking for your bank account or credit card details is gone. They are now much more attracted by your computer or smartphone power.
The last few years have been marked by a shift in the world of online crime. Graphics cards or motherboards power are very popular with hackers to discreetly divert their original functions and use them without your knowledge to perform intensive calculations, which will slow down your device, consume your batteries faster and increase your electric bill.
And all of this for what ? The creation or exploitation of cryptocurrencies. The infamous Bitcoin and its cousins such as Ethereum, Monero etc … have only fluctuated upward in recent years. While honest people watch these fluctuations and think about the opportunity to invest, hackers soon realized that there was another way to get rich.
Cryptocurrency mining consists of connecting different machines together in order to use their computing powers to solve complex mathematical equations for validating a transaction block of a cryptocurrency. For example, the validation of a Bitcoin block will yield a reward of 12.5 Bitcoins which will then be divided among the different miners.
Even if the unit gains per machine may seem derisory, a hacker with a network of 10000 machines connected together can easily earn $300 to $400 a day.