For the majority of online users, the Dark Web is a mysterious part of the Internet associated with illicit trading and cybercrime. Despite the fact it constitutes only 6% or the total Internet, it is a highly dynamic ecosystem that constantly grows.
According to EarthWeb, the Dark Web saw record-breaking growth in 2020 and now consists of 3,000 hidden websites consuming 75,000 terabytes of data. Web user access credentials, cyber-attacks, espionage services, medical records, and financial data are just some of the goods and services that can be obtained here. The Dark Web also allows users to browse and trade illicit drugs, weapons, and counterfeit currencies, along with other various goods and services.
Comprised of a complex set of encrypted networks, the Dark Web can only be accessed with special software that hides users’ identities. This makes it convenient for criminal activities such as buying and selling illegally obtained data and forged documents, which can cost up to thousands of dollars according to the Dark Web Price Index 2022.
Dark Web Price Index 2022 Summary
Published in July 2022, the Dark Web Price Index by Privacy Affairs reveals average costs of data and services in this hidden part of the Internet. The report analyses Dark Web websites, forums, and e-commerce pages to provide insight into the economy of the ecosystem and identify its key trends and behaviors.
The analysis focuses on cloned credit cards and cardholder data, payment processing services, hacked cryptocurrency accounts, email database dumps, as well as malware and DDoS attacks. The prices shown in the report range based on volume and quality, but the report states that the market is “even larger, more diverse, and vigorous than the year before”.
The highlights include:
- Sales volume: The total number of items sold in 2021 has grown compared to the previous year where more than 9,000 vendors selling fake IDs and credit cards saw thousands of transactions last year.
- Data volume: The volume of credit card data, personal information, and documents sold in 2021 was also higher than in 2020.
- Variety of items: The diversity of products offered increased with two notable additions being hacked cryptocurrency and Uber accounts.
Credit Card Data Prices
With the actual price of data varying based on quantity and quality, the report gives a range of prices for specific data. For example, credit card details are sold from between $10 and $120 with credit cards that have an account balance of up to 5,000 costing $120, while a Walmart account with a credit card attached costs $10.
The report also reveals the actual number of credit card data available. According to the analysis, there were approximately 4.5 million stolen credit cards on the Dark Web in December 2021.
Comparing the costs with previous years, however, the report shows a decline in price for most services.
|Product||Avg. Price USD (2021)||Avg. Price USD (2022)||YoY Difference|
|Credit card details, account balance up to 5,000||$240||$120||-$120|
|Credit card details, account balance up to 1,000||$150||$80||-$70|
|Stolen online banking logins, minimum 2,000 on account||$120||$65||-$55|
|Hacked (Global) credit card details with CVV||$35||$15||-$20|
|Cloned Mastercard with PIN||$25||$20||-$5|
|Cloned VISA with PIN||$25||$20||-$5|
|Stolen online banking logins, minimum 100 on account||$40||$35||-$5|
|Walmart account with credit card attached||$14||$10||-$4|
The Cost of Email Data
Email addresses are extremely valuable to threat actors who use them as part of their threat campaigns to compromise accounts and send phishing emails. Email database dumps are commonly sold on the Dark Web at prices ranging from $100 for 2.4 million Canada email addresses to $120 for 10 million USA email addresses.
According to Dark Web Price Index, these are usually dumps from previous breaches where the quality of data is questionable. Given the history of breaches, these records may include millions of email addresses from sources such as public-health-focused organizations, email service providers, and other types of services that are commonly used online.
In a single major breach, hackers can obtain massive amounts of data and reuse them in an attempt to breach other services. Below is the part of the Dark Web Price Index report referring to email database dumps:
|Email Database Dumps||Avg. Price USD (2022)|
|10,000,000 USA email addresses||$120|
|600,000 New Zealand email addresses||$110|
|2,400,000 million Canada email addresses||$100|
Malware and DDoS Attacks
As some of the most common cyber threats, Malware and DDoS attack tools are also available on the Dark Web marketplaces. The prices for DDoS attacks are based on the number of access requests, target websites, speed, and duration. A 24-hour attack consisting of 10-50k requests on an unprotected website costs as little as $45, while the same type of attack lasting for an entire month costs $850 on average.
Malware attacks are significantly more expensive, reaching $1,800 for a fresh, Europe-based high-quality attacks per 1,000 installs.
Compared to 2021, the prices for both types of attacks have been significantly reduced, indicating that the market has either become more competitive or that these types of attacks are less commonly used in 2022.
Other Documents and Services
Other items that are commonly sold on the Dark Web include social media accounts, hacked services, and forged documents. A hacked Facebook account costs about $45, while 1000 Instagram likes are available at $5.
Hacked services include accounts such as Netflix, HBO, Canva Pro, Kaspersky, and many others. HBO and Orange TV accounts are the least expensive at $4, while Bet365 account is sold for $40.
The most expensive items in the Dark Web Price Index include forged passports, which can go up to $3800 in value (for a Maltese Passport). Various other documents that can be forged include utility bill templates and drivers’ licenses. These can be made available as scanned or physical documents, with the latter being significantly more expensive.
The insight into the Dark Web economy helps us understand how hacked data is used and what it’s worth. With this ecosystem growing and cyber-attacks becoming more frequent and sophisticated, the need to protect sensitive information is more important than ever.
This is why the Dark Web Price Index report also outlines best practices for protecting. By regularly changing passwords, diversifying username-password combinations, using safe ATM practices, and avoiding public or unsecured WiFi, you can minimize the risk of identity theft and protect your privacy.