If a hacker steals information on 100,000 accounts—including yours--from a retailer or a bank, that particular sleaze bag isn’t going to use your information. He’s going to sell it on one of hundreds of online marketplaces for buying, selling and trading stolen identities and account information. But hang in there with me ‘cause there’s good news coming.
Hang in there with me, ‘cause this might end up being a good thing.
There are now so many sleazebag hackers, and they’ve stolen so much information, and there are so many online marketplaces selling the stolen information that prices for that information are dropping, according to Francois Paget, a security guru for McAfee who consults and with law enforcement.
How much is your information worth? Paget says from what he’s been seeing online, all of the information associated with a bank account, including passwords, is worth only 5 or 10% of its value. Have $10,000 in the bank? It’ll sell for roughly $750.
How about your credit card account info? In a batch of 10, it’s worth less than $50. That’s if it has all associated information like your billing address and your mother’s maiden name. Without those details, it’ll bring only $1.
The good news? The rules of supply and demand apply even on the black market. Supply is up; prices are down. If your credit card account information is worth only a buck, and there are millions of credit card accounts out there for sale, how long can this kind of stuff remain profitable?
This is where LifeLock comes in. Part of their identity theft prevention voodoo includes a program called eRecon that monitors the black market Marrakesh of stolen identities and financial information. If you want to check it out, go to LifeLock.com. If you decide you want it, get it with the LifeLock promo code RD17 ‘cause that’s the lowest price you’re going to get.