Written by StephanieStephanie graduated in information systems with an emphasis in cyber security management. She enjoys spending her time hiking with her children and her dogs, and playing video games with her husband.
Data breaches have been on the rise in the last several years. Companies rely on networks to connect their nationwide brands, and have the most up-to-date information possible. But this speed and efficiency comes at a price, cyber-criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. They are targeting small and large companies for the payoff they seek: your personal information.
But what do these cyber-criminals do with your information? In this article we will discuss not only what cyber-criminals do with your information, but how they make money from stealing it.
In recent years, cyber-criminals have used memory scraping malware which enables them to steal payment card information. Cyber-criminals install this malware onto point of sale (POS) systems. The malware can then collect all of the payment card information as it is swiped. This information is then gathered by the cyber-criminal and can be sold online on the "Darknet". The Darknet is a computer network with restricted access that is used for illegal file-sharing.
When a cyber-criminal is ready to sale your information, there is a process which includes several steps:
Step 1: Sell your payment card information to a broker
Step 2: Brokers purchase this information in bulk and sell it to "carders" on carder websites
Step 3: Thieves buy prepaid cards with that card information
Step 4: The prepaid cards are used to buy things online
The complexity of this process makes it very difficult to track. In the time the breach has been noticed, the cyber-criminal has already earned their payday.
Once your information has been stolen, there is nothing that can be done to save your information. Most companies offer a free one to two year subscription service to an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service. These services will notify you when your information is being used fraudulently. If you have been one of the millions of victims of a data breach and want protection, check out our top identity theft programs.