You can buy data access from a company on the Dark Web for less than a Macbook

Cybercriminals looking to gain access to corporate endpoints and infrastructure can do so for the price of a Macbook, and sometimes even less, according to a new report.

Kaspersky analyzed some 200 posts on the dark web, advertising stolen data or stolen access to businesses of all shapes and sizes, and found that, on average, scammers pay an average of $2,000 to $4,000 to access the systems. (opens in a new tab) large companies, which the researchers say is a solid investment given the potential for major ROI.

After all, ransomware operators often demand payments in the millions.

Of the 200 messages analyzed, the majority of the time the scammers advertise remote desktop access (75%) because it is not a virus, but provides access to a desktop or hosted application at distance, and allows criminals to connect, access and control various data in the same way as employees physically present on the premises.

Purchasing access

In addition to data stolen in attacks, scammers are also interested in the data needed to mount such an attack. Once an attacker breaks into the target infrastructure, they are able to sell that access to third parties, such as ransomware operators.

While the average cost is between $2,000 and $4,000, overall prices vary widely, from a few hundred dollars upwards. The victim’s potential income is the main determinant of the cost of access, the researchers concluded.

“The cybercriminal community has evolved, not only from a technical point of view, but also from an organizational point of view,” noted Sergey Shcherbel, security expert at Kaspersky.

“Today, ransomware groups are more like real industries with services and products for sale. Gaining source visibility on the dark web is essential for companies looking to enrich their threat intelligence. Information timely information on planned attacks, discussions of vulnerabilities and successful data breaches will help reduce the attack surface and take appropriate action.”

Ransomware attacks have simply exploded in the last year. Recent figures from SonicWall recorded over 600 million ransomware attacks worldwide in 2021, which is a 105% increase from the previous year. Compared to 2019, the numbers are even worse, posting a 232% increase.

“Cyberattacks are becoming more attractive and potentially more disastrous as reliance on information technology increases,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner.

“Securing information in a limitless world is an almost impossible and thankless task, especially as the boundaries of organizations continually expand to limitless endpoints and networks.”