This year’s Dark Web Price Index, published annually by cybersecurity researchers at Privacy Affairs, yielded some surprising findings: prices on darknet markets for most stolen or personally-identifying information (PII) items went down since last year’s report. This finding flies in the face of a worldwide trend of inflationary prices, which has gripped everything from gasoline, to milk, to canned goods to services. The report covers a period of Feb. 2021 to Jun. 2022 and includes data gathered from darknet markets, forums, and websites.
According to Miklos Zoltan, CEO of Privacy Affairs, prices are down for the main reason that supply of PII is up – way up since 2020 – with over 9,000 vendors currently offering stolen credit cards, fake IDs, and hacked credentials, driving record sales volume for these items on darknet markets.
Among credit card items listed for sale on darknet markets tracked by Privacy Affairs, details for cards with account balances up to $5,000 dropped 50%, from an average price of $240 in 2021 to $120 in 2022. Surpassing this discount was hacked Israeli credit cards, which dropped almost 62%, from an average of $65 to $25. In all, 14 of the 15 categories of credit card listings were cheaper in 2022 than 2021.
Every category of verified cryptocurrency exchange account was also significantly cheaper in 2022, including accounts on Kraken (-69%), Cex.io (-76%), Coinbase (-80%), LocalBitcoins (-66%), and Crypto.com (-17%). Even some types of hacked online services and entertainment accounts fell in price, including accounts for Netflix, Bet365, Kaspersky, and NBA League Pass. Uber accounts were the only tracked online service that actually increased, with hacked user accounts increasing in price by 88% and hacked driver accounts increasing by 150%.
Utility bill, driver’s license, ID as passport forgery-related items were mixed, with some showing significant price decreases and others modest increases. Nearly all malware-related services decreased in price, and all DDOS attack services decreased or remained the same.
Of all darknet market listings tracked by Privacy Affairs, PayPal balance transfers from stolen accounts fell the most in price, by an average of 82%. Hacked PayPal, CashApp, PerfectMoney, Skrill, and Western Union accounts were also significantly cheaper than last year.
“The sheer quantity of data available for purchase has created a bulk sales mentality for Dark Web customers,” says report author Patricia Ruffio. “The sad truth is that the growing supply of personal information on the Dark Web makes it cheaper – and therefore more likely – that your accounts will be hacked,” she added.