Health insurance credentials raise the cost of identity theft kits on underground marketplaces

Dossiers with health insurance credentials and counterfeit insurance cards cost US$1,200 or more, Dell SecureWorks researchers said

Several underground marketplaces are offering full information packages for sale that contain verified health insurance credentials, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information, along with counterfeit physical documents corresponding to the data.

The information packages are known as "fullz" among cybercriminals and cost around US$500 each if they include U.S. health insurance credentials, according to security researchers from Dell's SecureWorks subsidiary who identified several marketplaces where dossiers of this type are being sold.

"Fullz" usually contain full names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses with corresponding passwords, dates of birth, Social Security numbers (SSNs), Employer ID Numbers (EINs), and financial data such as bank account information, including account and routing numbers, online banking credentials with varying degrees of completeness, or credit card information, including magnetic stripe data and associated PINs.

These information packages can also be accompanied by counterfeit physical documents including credit cards, drivers' license, insurance cards and more, in which case they are called "kitz," the Dell SecureWorks researchers said Monday in a blog post.

"Kitz" usually cost between $1,200 and $1,300, but additional fees of $100 to $500 can be added to expedite orders and to cover the escrow or wire transfer payment commissions, the researchers said.

When sold on their own, health insurance credentials cost $20 each and include the names of those covered by the plan, dates of birth, contract number, group number, type of plan -- individual or group, HMO/PPO, deductible and copay information -- and insurer contact information for customer service and filing claims. Health plans that have associated dental, vision or chiropractic plans cost $20 more each, the researchers said.

Based on computer network information and "tell-tale signs" in usage of the English language in communications, the SecureWorks researchers suspect that the people behind one of the major operations selling this type of information are located in the U.S.

Hackers will steal anything they can sell and health insurance credentials are becoming more valuable as the cost of health insurance and medical services continues to rise, said Don Jackson, senior security researcher with Dell SecureWorks' Counter Threat Unit in the blog post.

According to the company, its Incident Response Team investigated a possible cyber intrusion at a large healthcare firm earlier this year and found over 25 versions of a credential-stealing Trojan program called Gatak on the company's network.

In that particular case it was determined that hackers did not manage to steal any protected health, financial or personally identifiable information, the SecureWorks researchers said. However, other companies might not be as lucky.

Companies should install firewalls around their networks and Web applications, as well as intrusion prevention and detection systems (IPS/IDS) that inspect outbound and inbound traffic for known threats. On endpoints they should run host IPS, an advanced malware protection product and a vulnerability scanner, the researchers said.

Employees should be trained on how to avoid the primary infection vectors when using email and accessing the Web, and their email communications should be encrypted, they said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Dell SecureWorkssecurityIdentity fraud / theftmalwareprivacyfraud

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?