Yesterday we released our first detailed Report on the Underground Economy. The report details an online underground economy that has evolved into a global marketplace in which stolen goods and fraud-related services are regularly bought and sold, and where the estimated value of goods offered by individual traders is measured in millions of dollars.
The report is derived from data gathered by Symantec’s security Technology and Response (STAR) organization, from underground economy servers between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008.
Highlights of the report include:
* the potential value of total advertised goods observed by Symantec was more than $276 million for the reporting period
* credit card information is the most advertised category of goods and services on the underground economy, accounting for 31
* percent of the total
* while stolen credit card numbers sell for as little as $0.10 to $25 per card, the average advertised stolen credit card limit observed by Symantec was more than $4,000 the potential worth of all credit cards advertised during the reporting period was $5.3 billion
* the underground economy is geographically diverse and generates revenue for cybercriminals who range from loose collections of individuals to organized and sophisticated group
* North America hosted the largest number of underground economy servers, with 45 percent of the total; Europe/Middle East/Africa hosted 38 percent; followed by Asia/Pacific with 12 percent and Latin America with 5 percent
Want a simple explanation was to what the underground economy is? Take a look at this amusing whiteboard style video that our UK team created as part of their video series, "Quick Guides to Scary Internet Stuff."