It is never a good situation when data is stolen by hackers. In the best-case scenario, the victim would pay the ransom and hope the hackers give back and delete the data. But that is not typically how it goes.
Usually, if the victim does not pay the ransom, the data is auctioned off on the dark web for the highest bidder. Sometimes even if the victim pays to get the data back, the hackers will still sell the data online.
How is the data auctioned off?
Researchers at a cybersecurity company have published a report that shares the details of these dark web data auctions. Once the data is put up for auction, anyone with dark web access can bid on it. No identity proof is required, only a simple CAPTCHA checkpoint. The highest bid must be paid in cryptocurrency, which is untraceable.
The company discovered many listings on the dark web. A simple 50 gigabytes of sensitive files and data from a U.S. law firm are sold for $30k. The most expensive found was a full library of trade secrets, patents, and executive-level communication history, all for the price of $1.2 Million.
“Email inboxes are still the most common starting point for ransomware attacks. Being able to identify a phishing message could keep your secrets from being spilled to the highest bidder”.
Cyberattacks are only increasing and victims are paying the ransoms. Cybercriminals have no reason to stop attacking, especially when they can make a fortune from one successful phishing email.
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