The personal identities of at least five million people have been stolen and put up for sale in data collection schemes for around A$9, a VPN provider has found.
NordVPN, a company that offers an encrypted internet connection service, has analyzed millions of stolen logins, auto-completed forms, device screenshots, webcam snapshots, and internet browser data stolen over a four-year period and across three “bot” markets – locations , where hackers sell data they stole with malware or viruses.
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Marijus Briedis, NordVPN’s chief technology officer, said the stolen personal information is visible to anyone on the general internet and could be updated even if a person changes their password.
“After the bot is sold, they guarantee the buyer that the victim’s information will be updated as long as their device is infected with the bot,” he said.
The report found that more than 10,000 of the identities whose information was stolen were linked to Australians, while six thousand were linked to people in New Zealand.
It turned out that most of the credentials came from Google, then Microsoft, and then Facebook.
Briedis said hackers could steal large amounts of personal information by hacking someone’s internet browser or webcam.
“A simple password is no longer worth money to criminals when they can buy logins, cookies and digital fingerprints with one click for just A$9,” he said.
NordVPN said the stolen information could be used for phishing attacks, trying to impersonate people or businesses to swindle third parties out of money.
They could also hack someone’s social media accounts and post fake information.
“To protect yourself, always use an antivirus program. Other measures that might help — a password manager and file encryption tools to ensure that even if a criminal infects your device, there’s very little to steal,” Briedis said.
https://7news.com.au/news/cyber-security/personal-data-of-10000-australians-found-for-sale-online-c-9038275 Personal data of 10,000 Australians put up for sale online