Prices falling for cybercriminal supplies

Prices falling for cybercriminal supplies: Wondering what to get the cybercriminal in the family this Black Friday? There are great deals to be had on stolen credit card numbers — and don’t forget the accessories.

A U.S.-based Visa or MasterCard number is going for about $4, research by Dell SecureWorks found. It’s $7 for an American Express number or $8 for Discover — all prices include the CVV security code.

Hackers have become so adept at filching data that prices are even falling for birthdates and Social Security numbers, which can be used with account numbers. There are also bargains on full packages of ID theft information known as “fullz” that will help that larcenous rapscallion on your gift list get past online security protocols.

“As always, there is no shortage of stolen credit cards, personal identities, also known as Fullz, and individual Social Security numbers for sale,” said a Nov. 16 blog post from Dell SecureWorks titled “The Underground Hacking Economy is Alive and Well.” The blog detailed research on the market for stolen personal data, conducted by Joe Stewart of Dell SecureWorks and independent researcher David Shear. They sampled prices on the anonymous online bazaar where hackers supply information to scammers who run up victims’ credit card bills and empty their bank accounts.

The look at the black market has frightening implications for anyone trying to keep their accounts out of the grubby hands of digital crooks. SecureWorks thinks that wider availability of stolen data is helping drive prices down. A set of “fullz” that used to cost $40 to $60 in 2011 now goes for $25 to $40. For $300 you can get credentials for a U.S. online bank account containing $70,000 to $150,000. That price would only buy you access to an account worth $7,000 a couple of years ago.

“Dell SecureWorks believes the drop in prices further substantiates that there is an abundance of stolen bank account credentials and personal identities for sale,” the company said. The list of illicit goods also includes malware-infected computers that do the bidding of email spammers, at $20 for a network of 1,000 bots, plus kits that let the user compromise computers on their own.

But there are some glimmers of good news on the security front, and some new advice designed to block all intrusions into your finances.