See how much your dark web social media accounts cost

See how much your dark web social media accounts cost

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Social media accounts on the dark web have become a veritable gold mine for cybercriminals; understand what they are used for and learn how to protect yourself

For years, the accounts of Facebook and Instagram are items of interest to “pirates” who browse the dark web. It is not difficult to see cases of credit cards and sensitive information being stolen and later found there. But now this black market is evolving more and more and becoming a real gold mine. According to data extracted by the website Whizcase, specializing in social media research, hackers are stealing and selling accounts from various social networks on the dark web.

According to the information released, between January and September 2022, the cheapest accounts belong to the Reddit, which cost just $6. TikTok, Pinterest e Twitter cost $10 or less, while profiles from Discord, Facebook, Instagram e Snapchat cost about $15. The most expensive social media account, however, is the one coming from LinkedIn, which typically retails for around $45. This makes sense considering it's a platform used by professionals with high-profile connections.

See how much your dark web social media accounts cost
LinkedIn accounts are the most expensive on the dark web; Reddit is the cheapest (Replay/Whizcase)

All values ​​shown above correspond to the price per account. However, it is not uncommon for these accounts to be sold in quantity, with hundreds of thousands of credentials marketed at a more affordable price. But, after all, what would be the ultimate goal? Apparently, the profit comes from the bot buying and selling market, where manipulating social engagement is the service that matters. One of the advantages of the business is that, as these accounts used to belong to ordinary users, it is much more difficult for the manipulations to be detected by social networks.

Also according to the data, hackers manage to sell a thousand followers on Instagram for only US$ 6. Twitch can buy a thousand followers on the platform for only US$ 12. On Twitter, some people pay US$ 25 to receive a thousand retweets in return. These values ​​can be higher, however, as it is possible to customize the bots “profile”. These prices do not include the extra fees for choosing the country of origin of the accounts, for example.

See how much your dark web social media accounts cost
You can buy a thousand retweets on Twitter for just $25 (Playback/Whizcase)

Other accounts that are being targeted by cybercriminals are those coming from communication tools, such as Gmail, WhatsApp, Skype e Telegram. Among the four services, the gmail is the one that pays the most, costing up to US$ 45. Considering that most companies use the gmail daily, this is not surprising. Its power of use is diverse. It is possible, for example, to reset the passwords of the original owners and, later, use e-mail to sign up for different types of services. It is even possible to gain access to financial and payment accounts, a dangerous invasion of privacy.

Accounts on streaming services are also targeted

Dark web entertainment account sales
Accounts on streaming services are also targeted and sold by criminals on the dark web (Playback/Whizcase)

In addition to social media profiles, hacked entertainment service accounts also have a presence on dark web marketplaces. Among them are accounts Spotify, HBO Max, Netflix e Disney+. Most of these accounts are obtained through phishing scams.

This data reinforces that we should always be cautious when looking at popular or highly engaging content on social media. For the price of a hot dog, one could make a profile look more popular than it actually is.


How to prevent your data from stopping on the dark web?

What to do to not have stolen internet accounts?
Some tricks can help keep you safer in the digital environment (Playback/Internet)

Sometimes it seems that the responsibility for personal data does not lie with the data subject, but with the companies to which they were transferred. However, each individual is responsible for their data and needs to take steps to reduce the chances of exposure, such as adopting preventive measures.

It is unanimous among digital security professionals that antivirus, updates and sporadic password changes are the most effective means of protecting yourself on an individual basis. These actions, within the reach of anyone, can impact protection and reduce the possibilities of scams on the internet.

In the case of antivirus, it is recommended to install, on computers and smartphones, applications that carry out a complete and continuous cleaning of the equipment. Some programs are available for free, such as AvastAVG ou Defender, which is standard on computers Windows. There are other options for all operating systems, whether mobile or desktop. These companies continually release updates that improve the protection of the equipment, and it is up to users to conduct these installations whenever they are made available by the developers.

internet security
Changing your password is a proactive action taken by users, which directly affects the protection of your information (Playback/Internet)

The same happens with other applications, which always release new versions with fixes for potential vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of by criminals. Banks, for example, usually update their applications once a month, always in an attempt to prevent criminals from acting.

Changing your password is another proactive action by users, which directly affects the protection of your information. It is important to always rotate passwords to protect your records on the internet, in addition to choosing combinations consisting of letters, numbers and special characters 🇧🇷, as they hamper the activity of automated robots.

Antivirus on pc
It is important to keep antivirus software installed on your main devices (Playback/Internet)

There are already some platforms that offer free password generation (LastPass e Avast Generator) and the user can set the size and type of the combination. In paid versions, it is also possible to use the platforms to manage these passwords, reducing the chances of losing them.

Finally, it is still valid to be aware of suspicious content that you receive through messages, whether via SMS, by Whatsapp or even in your corporate email. Always be suspicious, no matter how harmless the message may seem. If it was sent by someone close to you, find out if it was the person who sent it to you before clicking on a link or downloading an unknown file.

See also:

Have you heard about the Phantom Hand Swipe? He fraudulently tries to gain access to his bank account and has claimed more than 40 victims in Brazil. Understand how the scam works and learn how to protect yourself.

Sources: PC Mag, Whizcase.

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