It’s called the “dark web” because it’s hidden for most people.  It is not indexed by search engines and it is accessed by peer-to-peer networks using software, or networks like TorFreenet, and I2P.   It is used by people that want to stay anonymous online, but it can also be used by cyber criminals to traffic in stolen goods.

A University of Portsmouth study found that the most common use of the dark web is for trading child porn.  It’s also used by BotNets to control remote servers and gain access to unauthorized devices.  The Darknet market is known for those seeking illegal drugs, hacking tools, and weapons.

If you have been a victim of stolen identity, your information was likely packaged and sold on the dark web.  Havocscope is considered the go-to source for information about the global black market.  According to Havocscope, here is what crooks are getting for your personal information:

Value Of Personal Information On The Dark Web

  • Stolen ID to buy health insurance: $1,250
  • Stolen Driver’s License: $200-$5,000
  • Stolen Passport: $2,500-$7,000
  • Stolen Premium Credit Card info: $250

Fake ID cards, stolen passports and fake documents alone account for $100 million dollars’ worth of illegal trade on the dark web.  Even fake diplomas make up $1 billion dollars’ worth of transactions every year. Non-premium credit cards are sold in lots, for roughly $6 dollars for 1,000.  The price is low because many of the cards are not active or have been reported as stolen.

At any one time, there is more than $1.63 trillion – yes trillion! – dollars’ worth of products available for sale on the dark web.

Full Identity Kits And Medical Information

Thieves will often sell a full identity kit – including personal information, social security number, driver’s license, and bank account information including routing numbers for $1,500 or less.

Medical information is a prized commodity.  The information is used to defraud hospitals and doctors by using the information to get medical treatment.  In the case of a medical emergency, sometimes critical insurance or personal information can bypass the normal scrutiny it might get otherwise.  In other cases, it is used to buy medical equipment for resale or to file fraudulent insurance claims.

Your Bank Account Information May Be For Sale

Online bank accounts are commonly traded on the dark web for big bucks.  A U.S. based bank account – with user name and password can bring in 2% of the account’s total balance.  An account based in the European Union can bring in 4% to 6% of the balance.

An online account at PayPal can command prices between 6% and 20% of the account balance.

Email Addresses And Social Media Are For Sale

Email addresses are bundled and sold in groups.  1,000 Gmail accounts can bring up to $200 dollars.  1,000 Hotmail or Yahoo accounts might go for $10-$12 dollars.  Your social media accounts and passwords or for sale as well.

$15 bucks will buy you 10,000 fake Twitter followers or 1,000 Facebook likes.

This Is Organized Crime

The dark web is not just teenagers in your neighborhood trying to hack your information for kicks.  It is the domain of organized crime groups and it is serious business.