Increased Activity Around Stolen Data on the Dark Web

According to Bitglass research, the value of stolen data from dark web activity and cybercrime has evolved significantly in recent years.

Stolen data has a broader reach and moves faster

Over 13,200 views of vulnerability data in 2021, compared to 1,100 views in 2015, an increase of 1,100%.
In 2015, it took 12 days to reach 1,100 link views while in 2021, it took less than 24 hours to exceed this milestone.
The breach data was downloaded from individuals on five different continents.

Mike Schuricht, head of the Bitglass Threat Research Group, said, "We expect that the increasing number of data breaches and the increased channels available to cybercriminals to monetize leaked data will lead even more to an increase in interest and activity in stolen data on the dark web."

Dark Web activity has become more covert

The number of anonymous browsers on the dark web in 2021 (93%) exceeded the number in 2015 (67%).
This year's experiment showed that anonymous browsers were particularly interested in retail and government data; 36% and 31%, respectively.

Schuricht said, "Given law enforcement's increased efforts to track and prosecute cybercriminals, we expect malicious actors will continue to use anonymous VPNs and proxies when accessing compromised data to evade law enforcement."

Cybercriminals particularly interested in retail and U.S. government data

Of all the types of fake data the researchers distributed on the Dark Web, access to retail and U.S. government networks received the most hits, 37% and 32%, respectively.

Schuricht said, "Gaining access to large retailer networks remains a top priority for many cybercriminals looking to deploy ransomware and extort payments from large for-profit organizations."

"Similarly, interest in U.S. government information may come from state-sponsored hackers or independent hackers hoping to sell that information to nation states."

Cybercriminals are closer to you than you think

Cybercriminals may be more of a "homegrown" threat than many believe, with the second most common place to download stolen data coming from the United States. The top three were Kenya, the United States and Romania.

"Comparing the results of the latest experiment with those from 2015, it's clear that data on the dark web is spreading farther and faster." Schuricht said, "Not only that, but cybercriminals are becoming increasingly adept at covering their tracks and taking steps to evade law enforcement efforts to prosecute cybercrime. "

"Unfortunately, corporate cybersecurity efforts to protect data have not kept pace, as evidenced by the constant stream of headlines about the latest data breaches. As we recommended six years ago, it's critical that they use best practices and new technologies to protect their data."

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