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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Stolen Uber info more valuable for hackers than credit card data

Friday 22 January 2016 | 11:02 AM CET

Uber, PayPal and even Netflix accounts have become much more valuable to criminals than credit cards, a recent report unveils.

According to data compiled by Trend Micro, stolen Uber account information on underground marketplaces sells for an average of USD 3.78 per account, while personally identifiable information (PII) was listed for USD 1 to USD 3.30 on average, down from USD 4 per record in 2014. PII includes any information that can be used to commit identity fraud, like Social Security numbers or date of birth and varies in price depending on the specific information for sale.

They also found the following accounts for sale at these average prices per account; PayPal — with a guaranteed USD 500 balance — (USD 6.43), Facebook (USD 3.02), Google Voice (97 cents) and Netflix (76 cents). By contrast, U.S. issued credit card credentials, sold in bundles, were listed for no more than 22 cents each.

The reason why credit cards are worth less to crooks at this point is because banks and credit card issuers have developed more sophisticated fraud detection systems, rending stolen cards worthless very quickly.

Tech companies are aware of the threat, and many (including Uber) employ teams to monitor accounts for strange activity, alerting users when accounts may have been compromised. They also encourage users to adopt additional security measures and use different passwords for different accounts.

Facebook advises users to turn on its version of two-factor authentication called login approvals and to run a security checkup, a tool that walks users through security options to add extra account protection. Also, Netflix encourages concerned users to contact customer service and has posted user guidelines for keeping accounts secure.

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