BLUF

Despite media hype about politics and espionage being the driving force behind data breaches, most hackers are motivated by money.

Summary

Cyber-security researcher Ravi Sen argues that although data breaches can be committed for political purposes, most hackers are motivated by money. Sen quotes Verizon’s annual data breach report showing that 86 per cent of breaches/hacks are carried out purely for profit. His article contains charts comparing 2020-21 dark-web prices for various stolen or cloned products. The interesting thing is that while some prices have increased since 2020 (such as credit card and banking products), prices for other products have fallen (social media and payment-processing services). As for what is currently in demand, Sen says buyers are interested in cloned credit cards, Social Security numbers, home addresses with full names and dates of birth, and other personally identifiable information. He says marketing firms that specialize in spam campaigns are also potential customers. Furthermore, Health care data and stolen medical data have also become big sellers.