According to news published by Forbes on September 13, 2019, Armor’s Threat Resistance Unit (TRU) research team has been studying the dark markets and spotted a new possibility to pay a seller $800 in bitcoin and have $10,000 transferred to a bank account via Western Union, PayPal or similar.
Black Markets are Renewing
According to the Black Market Report released by cloud security-as-a-service provider Armor, the number of black markets in which financial data and personal information can be purchased is flourishing. The interesting thing is that like any successful business, cybercriminals must continue to renew their products and services to attract more and more users.
And according to research, they are successful in doing so.
The research team analyzed data from twelve black markets taking into account prices for popular core items such as bank account credentials,, full identity packets, and DDoS and spamming services. In addition to these “classic” services, TRU research team discovered a new interesting offer which allows a buyer to pay $800 dollars worth of bitcoin and have $10,000 transferred to a bank account, PayPal, Western Union or any other digital support.
This new service is very attractive both for a buyer and above all for a seller. In fact, it further reduces the risk of the seller as it never comes into possession of the stolen funds.
The buyer instead will no longer have the problem of monetizing online bank account or credit card credentials as the risk of accessing a compromised account is far less than the simple collection of cash.
An Interesting Perspective
Bitcoin skeptics might argue that it is just an illusion or a bubble as it is not backed by anything other than the faith of the people who buy it. What people usually do not understand is that even U.S. dollars are not backed by anything with the only difference that the illusion created by dollars is more widely believed than the one of bitcoin.
The thing we should pay attention to while using a payment system is secure. As evidenced by the Armor study, traditional payment instruments are easily hackable and therefore are really not secure when used on the Internet. In contrast, bitcoin is the most secure payment infrastructure ever created. In 10 years from its creation, the bitcoin ledger has never been altered while being attacked every single day.
For someone to modify the record of the network they would need to invest millions if not billions of dollars in order to have a few chances in achieving so. And if an attacker should succeed in altering the Blockchain (for example with a successful double-spend attack), it would be highly unlikely to gain any economic benefit from it, as compromising the network would eventually reduce the value of a bitcoin.
The fact that cybercriminals have such easy access to personal financial information should make us think about the security of our financial system and how with the advent of the digital age we need an infrastructure which is born and built for the Internet.