The average internet user might not have heard about the ‘dark web’ but to all the techies who are more than just mere dabblers in the world of internet, know what it is all about.
One could refer to the dark web as the hidden lower-most end of the chunk of an iceberg floating around in an ocean. It is the part of the internet that is not indexed by our regular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. and therefore is the host and conduit of most illegal, fraudulent and criminal activities.
In recent news, it has been reported that a whopping 1.3 million compromised and stolen pieces of data from Indian users, most of which are financial in nature such as debit and credit card information has surfaced on the dark web according to a Singapore based cybersecurity company named Group-IB. The data has been reportedly put up for sale on the dark web ready to be sold to the highest bidder.
The database which contains the said compromised information has been uploaded under the name “INDIA-MIX-NEW-01 (fresh skimmeD INDIA base): INDIA MIX TR1+TR2/TR2, HIGH VALID 90-95%, uploaded 2019-10-28 (NON-REFUNDABLE BASE”.
It has been on sale on the portal named Joker’s Stash, which happens to be one of the most notorious underground card shops in existence via October 28, 2019. Interestingly, the “TR2” or Track 2 records of the illegally obtained data can be potentially used to produce high-quality clonable cards that can be used to cash out using an ATM machine. They further went ahead to estimate the underground market value of the total database to be more than $130 million.
Now, most people in India believe that the double-layered 2-factor protection issued by our government which requires an O.T.P. or Online Temporary Password sent to our mobile numbers to successfully conduct an online transaction via our cards will ultimately safeguard us against these fraudulent attempts. Well, turns out that is not entirely correct. While it is true that the system can certainly protect us in India, but it could also fail when using international transaction portals. Many of these international portals happen to require your card details along with the CCV only.
Prevent The Data Leak
In most cases, it is due to our negligence and lack of knowledge that our crucial information gets compromised. It is very easy to fall victim to activities such as card skimming, transacting on fake websites or getting our systems infected with malware. The thieves or hackers involved in these activities then happen to make a dump of all the information that they have collected from various places using various different methods and upload them on the dark web where they remain hidden from the public eye. The information then gets bidden on for sale by millions of different people with malicious intent.
A study conducted in 2019 by the University of Surrey on the Dark Web, showed that the number of harmful and illegal listings on the dark web has risen by 20% since 2016. Although various law enforcement firms, as well as security firms, constantly look out for these listings and crack-down on them as soon as they can, more of them in identical nature keep popping up and make it more difficult. The only way to safeguard ourselves from these activities is to be better equipped with knowledge while sharing them save with our loved ones, especially the older and less tech-savvy people. Let us know about your thoughts in the comments down below.