Symantec: Bank account details fetch US$400 online

Stolen bank account numbers are commanding the highest price in an underground trade of personal details stolen by hackers, Symantec said Monday.

Stolen bank account numbers are commanding the highest price in an underground trade of personal details stolen by hackers, according to a survey released Monday by security vendor Symantec.

Bank account details command prices of up to US$400 (AU$481), while credit card details sell for between US$0.50 and US$5, e-mail passwords from US$1 to US$350 each, and e-mail addresses from US$2 to US$4 per megabyte, according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, which covers the first half of the year.

The online trade in stolen details highlights the commercialization of Internet crime, with gangs researching, developing and marketing nefarious software for other criminals, said William Beer, director of security practice for Europe.

There has been an increase in the quality and quantity of malicious code sold on the Internet, driven by well-funded international groups of criminals, Beer said.

The hackers are obtaining the information through increasingly targeted attacks on computers that often involve collecting personal information about a person from social networks such as MySpace or Facebook, Beer said.

With specific personal details, the hacker can construct a personalized e-mail that entices the victim to either click on an attachment containing malicious software or visit a phishing site.

Symantec is also seeing multistage attacks where the attacker places a small piece of software on a target computer that then acts as a beachhead for downloading other software.

"The end user will not even notice the attacks have taken place because it's a very gradual process," Beer said.

On the spam front, Symantec said it has noticed a 30 percent drop in so-called "pump-and-dump" spam, where e-mails touting penny stocks are sent out, causing a rise in the stock price before the perpetrators sell the stock early. The decline can be attributed to a crackdown by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Also down is the percentage of spam with images, which started as a highly effective way to bypass spam filters but is now less so. About 27 percent of the spam analyzed by Symantec between April and May contained images, down from 50 percent the first week in January, Symantec said.

The decrease is due to an improvement in spam filters as well as the decline in pump-and-dump spam, which often used images, the company said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?