Trend Micro Incorporated has recently released a new report titled “Your Stolen Data for Sale,” outlining the risks associated with data theft and its subsequent misuse.
The report highlights that the risk of data theft is currently higher than ever, with the value of stolen data increasing on the black market, and infected computers often found in developing countries. In the first half of 2023, Trend Micro blocked around 15 million malware in South Africa, representing a 20% increase from the same period in 2022.
The rise of remote work and cloud storage solutions has opened new opportunities for info stealer attacks, and this type of malware, responsible for most of the stolen data being sold on the criminal underground, involves cybercriminals using malicious software to extract sensitive information from victims’ computers or mobile devices, subsequently putting the stolen data up for sale.
Emmanuel Tzingakis, Technical Lead, African Cluster at Trend, emphasizes the importance for individuals and businesses to understand the market for stolen data and take necessary precautions to safeguard against data breaches.
To help online users understand the types of data most at risk, Trend Micro compared the 16 most active infostealers, analyzing their stealing capabilities and the types of data each one targets.
The value of individual stolen data varies based on its type, quality, and availability. Browser data, which includes authentication cookies, stored credit cards, credentials, passwords, and navigation history, is the preferred target for data stealers. The most easily monetized types of data are browser data and cryptocurrency wallets.
However, it is essential to note that the availability of more data about an individual makes it more valuable and susceptible to misuse and fraudulent activities.
Tzingakis emphasizes that personal data will continue to be a prime target for criminals, especially as the festive season approaches, putting online users at greater risk from infostealers.