A new report has found that hidden dark web websites across numerous countries are being utilized to sell goods illegally online.
The report: Mining the Dark Web: Drugs and Fake IDs by Dr. Andres Baravalle, Dr. Sin Lee Wee, and Mr. Mauro Sanchez Lopez, found that once users had access to the websites it was a simple process of obtaining a username and buying products online, according to a report from the International Business Times.
In the report covered by IBT, Dr. Baravalle said that a teenager who was tech savvy would be able to gain access the sites where they would be communicating with criminals with ease.
The researchers found that a scan of a passport could be bought for £7 while a physical passport was on offer for as little as £752.
Dr. Baravalle said:
During our research, 84 scans and photos of passports were on sale, with 12 physical passports also being offered.
Bitcoin Used for Terrorism Financing?
Earlier this year, a former counterterrorism analyst for the CIA had found that terrorists were using the digital currency, bitcoin to boost their funding.
This, despite the fact that, a report from Europol at the beginning of the year revealed that no terrorist group was using it for terrorism financing.
Data Breach at Yahoo!
This new report comes as Internet giant, Yahoo! recently revealed that it had become the victim of the biggest ever data breach that saw around 500 million Yahoo! users affected.
According to Yahoo! the information was stolen from its network in a 2014 incident. The company believes it was a state-sponsored hacker who was able to obtain personal information from its users.
The Hacker Peace
Back in August, a hacker by the name of Peace told Motherboard that he had access to 200 million user accounts and was going to put them up for sale on the dark web marketplace TheRealDeal for three bitcoins or $1,900 in value at the time. According to the hacker, the 200 million records were from ‘2012 most likely.’
The same hacker is reported to have sold large dumps of data from MySpace and LinkedIn through TheRealDeal too.
The next few weeks and months will be an interesting time for Yahoo! simply because it remains to be seen whether or not the sale of Yahoo! to Verizon at a cost of $4.83 billion will continue after this. According to a report from the Financial Times (paywall), Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! CEO knew of the possible hack back in July.
Interestingly, enough, it was in late July that Yahoo! announced that Verizon had entered a definite agreement where Verizon would acquire Yahoo’s operating business for around $4.83 billion in cash.
The Rise of the Hacker
In today’s digital age, though, it seems like opportunistic hackers are turning their attention to computers and hardware as a way of stealing valuable information.
According to Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, a Kaspersky Lab ZAO researcher, criminals are using ransomware as a way of gaining information that is profitable to them rather than breaking into computers to access a person’s money through online banking.
Unfortunately, as more criminal hacks continue to take place, it begs the question: how safe is our data and what steps need to be put into place that ensures the safety of our personal information?
Until we can be sure of that, criminal hackers will continue to seek out vulnerabilities in order to gain the information they need. and the dark web will be a beacon for those who want to sell products online illegally.
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