Credit card theft, especially large-scale – such as the recent Target scandal – can be quite detrimental to customers who end up losing a lot of money before they know to report it. However, a new study shows that social media account information is actually a lot more valuable to hackers than credit card numbers.
After the Target security breach, where the banking and personal information of 70 million people was stolen, the data was released on the black market. Initially, these records sold for a high price. But prices quickly fell from $15 to $25 down to 75 cents, “because the market becomes flooded,” and “the data becomes stale,” states a report by the RAND Corporation.
While the value of stolen credit cards may be going down, the price of stolen social media accounts is only increasing. In fact, the report found Twitter accounts sell on the black market for anywhere between $16 and $325. Because passwords are often repeated for other sites, such as online banking and social media accounts, one password could give a hacker access to many valuable properties.
No doubt people are taking measures to protect themselves and their accounts, but increased encryption and other solutions might not be a guarantee.
“As more data are encrypted in transit, the value of subverting machines to get to data will rise,” states the RAND report.
*Source: CTV News