We are all more than used to browsing the Internet daily, whether for leisure, work or study. However, most of the content on the Internet is not accessible through these means, since it is part of the Deep Web and, to a lesser extent, the Dark Web. The latter hides illegal transactions of all kinds, such as the sale of passports or identity documents. A study has found and analyzed one of these Dark Web marketsand the results are scary.
Buying Spanish documents on the Dark Web is nothing new, since unfortunately it is a real gold mine for those who are dedicated to “trafficking” them. This study, carried out by NordVPN, has analyzed a market where more than 720,000 items have been sold, and more than 16 million euros have been generated.
This costs a Spanish document on the Dark Web
In this market that has been the object of the study, the most expensive items that have been sold if we look at the international average have been the passports. The average of this type of identity document reaches 627.69 euros, being the most expensive the Czech, Slovak and Lithuanian, with an average of 3634.89 euros. This figure is very far from what a Spanish passport costs in said market, since it had a value of 9.06 euros.
If we talk about ID, the price does not differ too much either. A Spanish DNI in this market had a value of 13.85 euros, very far from the identity documents of other countries such as the Czech Republic (1094.03 euros) and Australia (325.23 euros). Other transactions have also been verified, such as the sale of batches of emails, where a batch of Spanish mail was priced at 11.91 euros.
Bank card data could also be acquired in this illegal market, with a price in the case of Spain of 12.02 euros. Keep in mind that the price of all these items It depends on many factors, among which we can find the difficulty to get hold of them or their demand. This market is only a small part of the illegal business that takes place on the Dark Web, as recognized by Adrianus WarmenhovenNordVPN cybersecurity expert:
This market is just the tip of the iceberg. Currently, there are over 30,000 websites on the dark web. Keep in mind that only 4% of the entire Internet belongs to the “surface web” that is available to any user. The market analyzed in our case study was chosen because it was used by some large hacker groups in the past, such as the one involved in the AT&T data theft in August last year.
What can we do so that this does not affect us?
Our computers have antivirus and other solutions to protect them from undesirable attacks, but the reality is that the security of our personal data depends entirely on us. NordVPN wanted to give us some advice so that we can take care of our personal data in the best possible way, preventing it from reaching this type of market. The tips are as follows:
- Make sure sites and services are legit
The main way for cybercriminals to get hold of your data is to go to sites and services where we share our personal data. We cannot be sure that the data is stored on secure servers, but we can be more “attentive” to ensure that the sites are trustworthy. Don’t hesitate to ask the company or service questions about their data storage.
As we have told you a little above, the security of your data depends entirely on you. It never hurts to investigate and look for new ways or sites that we can use to make our data more secure.
Always stay alert, and never trust any website or service at first. The campaigns of phishing, for instance, they simulate web pages or mail services that appear to be real, but are not.
- Take control of your accounts
Nowadays, most of the online services we use have security measures that inform us immediately when they have suffered an attempt to access our account by a stranger. Always activate all these services, and if you can the notifications from your bank so that if a strange charge occurs you can react as soon as possible.