In a report that Trend Micro researchers put together for US news channel CNBC, the security company found that Uber accounts are worth more on the Deep Web than stolen credit card information. The Deep Web serves as an underground market place where cybercriminals can trade goods and services.
On the Deep Web, the average amount charged for an Uber account is $3.78 (R60.29). Trend Micro also found PayPal, Facebook, Google Voice and Netflix accounts for sale. PayPal accounts were sold at $6.43 (R102.51) with a guaranteed balance of $500 (R7971.28), Facebook accounts go for about $3.02 (R48.15), Google Voice accounts for 97 cents (R15.46) and Netflix accounts for a mere 76 cents (R12.12).
In comparison, stolen personal information such as credit card numbers, were priced at an average of between $1 (R15.94) and $3.30 (R52.61), which according to Trend Micro researchers means it has decreased in price by about $4 (R63.77) since 2014.
“Cybercriminals have cottoned on to the ways they can use stolen Uber accounts to make money,” says Darryn O’Brien, country manager at Trend Micro Southern Africa, “A stolen Uber account can be used to gain a better view of an individual prior to identity theft, or they can charge what CNBC termed ‘phantom rides’ to the stolen accounts.”
To charge for ‘phantom rides’ cyber criminals set up fake Uber driver accounts and then charges non-existent rides to the stolen account. Locally, timeslive.co.za reported that victims report their stories of stolen accounts under the hashtag UberAccountHacked on Twitter. One man tweeted, “My Uber account has been hacked! I’ve never been to Johannesburg!”
“Whether or not the stories on Twitter are true, it is fact that stolen Uber and other social media accounts are for sale on the Deep Web. Cybercriminals are finding new ways to gain access to personal information that can make them money, and this just happens to be one of them, so users need to be aware,” says O’Brien.
“Using one password for all social media accounts is dangerous. End-users need to mix up their passwords and change them often. In addition, they should make themselves familiar with all security precautions offered by social media sites and make their security settings robust.”
Trend Micro offers a range of products that can assist end-users in safeguarding their online activities and passwords. Including Maximum Security 10 that gives users comprehensive, multiple device protection and privacy online, shields privacy on social media and guards against identity theft.
“Taking additional security precautions of your own is essential, whether you’re working on a PC, Mac, tablet or mobile. The more connected we become, the more avenues we give cybercriminals into our personal information. So investing in additional security software is something I would advise that every end user does,” says O’Brien.