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Stolen data spreads 10 times faster in 2021 than in 2015

By J.Austine Nov. 15, 2021, 10:30 p.m.
Stolen data spreads 10 times faster in 2021 than in 2015

According to recent research, the dark web has greatly evolved in the past years. The value of stolen data on the dark web and cybercriminals behaviour have dramatically evolved.

Stolen data spreads 10 times faster in 2021 than in 2015

According to recent research, the dark web has greatly evolved in the past years. The value of stolen data on the dark web and cybercriminals behaviour have dramatically evolved.
In 2015, Bitglass conducted a data tracking experiment to understand how data is viewed and accessed on the dark web. The world has become more digital, resulting in an increased number of data breaches. According to Bitglass, below is some of the recent information with regards to online privacy;

Stolen data spreads more quickly and has a wider reach

In 2015, breach data had 1,100 views versus 13,200 in 2021. This shows an increase of 1,100%. It could take 2 weeks to reach 1,109 link views in 2015, in 2021, it takes barely a day to surpass that milestone.
“We expect that the increasing volume of data breaches, as well as more avenues for cybercriminals to monetise exfiltrated data has led to this increased interest and activity surrounding stolen data on the Dark Web,” says Mike Schuricht, leader of the Bitglass Threat Research Group.

Dark Web activity has become darker

The number of secret viewers on the dark web in 2021 stands at 93% against 67% in 2015.
“Given increased efforts by law enforcement to track and prosecute cybercriminals, we expect malicious actors to continue to use anonymous VPNs and proxies when accessing breached data in attempts to evade law enforcement,” says Schuricht.

Cybercriminals focus on retail and U.S. government data.

Based on the research carried out by Bitglass, data to access retail and the U.S government is in high demand. Retail data had 36% while data to access U.S government networks received 32%.
“Gaining access to large retailers’ networks remains a top priority for many cybercriminals. Majority wish to deploy ransomware and extort payouts from large and profitable organisations,” says Schuricht. “Similarly, interest in the U.S. Government information is likely either from state-sponsored hackers or independent hackers looking to sell this information to nation-states.”

Cybercriminals are closer than you think

Cybercriminals are people more closely associated with the accounts they hack into. Downloads of data originating from the states had the second most frequent location. In the top three we had Kenya, United States and Romania.

“In comparing the results of this latest experiment to that of 2015, it is clear that data on the Dark Web is spreading farther, faster,” comments Schuricht. “Not only that, but cybercriminals are getting better at covering their tracks and taking steps to evade law enforcement efforts to prosecute cybercrime. Unfortunately, organisations’ cybersecurity efforts to protect data have not kept pace, as evident by the continuous onslaught of headlines reporting on the latest data breaches. As we advised organisations six years ago, it is vital they use best practices and new technologies to protect their data.”








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