Brian Krebs has an interesting post at his Krebs on Security about the thriving market in stolen credit cards. There are many sites on the Internet that offer a considerable selection of stolen card numbers, and competition between them has resulted in knock-down prices.
When you’re shopping for stolen credit and debit cards online, there are so many choices these days. A glut of stolen data — combined with innovation and cutthroat competition among vendors — is conspiring to keep prices for stolen account numbers exceptionally low. Even so, many readers probably have no idea that their credit card information is worth only about $1.50 on the black market.
Mr. Krebs reports that US residents’ card numbers go for about $1.50; numbers for UK residents run about $4.00. (I’m not sure, offhand, why UK cards should command a premium.) It is also possible, for an additional fee, to get personal details of the card holder (date of birth, for example). The sites even offer search tools so that, if you want a card from a particular region or city, you can easily find one. Taking a leaf from the credit card issuers’ book, the site does of course charge a small fee for this added service.
This is another manifestation of the maturation of malware into a thriving criminal industry.