The breach of as many as 90 million Facebook accounts is bad news for the social media company, but it’s even worse news for the users whose sensitive personal data was compromised. That’s because hackers won’t make their money by posting an embarrassing status update or “liking” Nickelback on your profile. Instead, they’ll use what they’ve stolen for their own nefarious purposes and then head straight to the dark web, where they’ll sell your valuable personal information for pennies.
The dark web is essentially an online black market, with thousands of websites using readily available tools to mask IP addresses to enable anonymity. People go to these sites to anonymously buy and sell things that are otherwise illegal, including drugs, hacking software, and the data stolen from your business and your customers.
This means that while the initial data breach is bad news, the hammer comes down a second time when your data or the data of your customers is sold on the dark web. Because most people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, hackers can conduct a credential stuffing attack by trying stolen username and password combinations across hundreds of websites and platforms until they get a hit. With this information, they might be able to steal your medical records, complete with Social Security number and billing information, or even just log directly into your bank account.
One reason the dark web is so dangerous is that it levels the playing field for criminals. Hacking used to require pretty extensive technical know-how. After all, hackers had to make their own tools or reverse-engineer someone else’s. But on the dark web, scammers don’t have to know anything except how to buy the tools they need. With the right software, scammers can conduct phishing campaigns, buy millions of stolen credentials, or conduct a ransomware attack that holds your data hostage.
The scariest part is that your data and your customers’ data could already be out there, and you would never know until money started disappearing.
Don’t Be a Victim
Keeping your data away from hackers and scammers requires constant vigilance, but you have to know how and where to look.
Companies that fall victim to data breaches are often painfully slow to report the incursion. On average, it takes 191 days for a breach to be announced, and in some cases, the process takes much longer. It’s not even negligence or secrecy: The lag time is usually because the company is simply unaware that it’s been hacked.
In more than three-quarters of cases, third parties such as law enforcement are the ones informing the victim organization about a breach. When Yahoo suffered a massive breach in 2013, for example, the company didn’t even realize the intrusion had occurred until a team of investigators informed it three years later. At that point, millions of users’ data had been sold and resold all over the dark web.
Because you often won’t know that you’ve been hacked, monitoring the dark web for stolen credentials is the only way to avoid becoming a victim twice over. With dark web monitoring services, you can take preventive steps to secure data before it’s used to further compromise your organization.
Because your employees are all using email addresses that are associated with your domain, our systems scan on the basis of that domain and instantly alert us when an employee login is up for sale. We pass that information on to you, ensuring that you can change passwords right away and avoid future damage.
Not all websites on the dark web are malicious. They can be used for otherwise dangerous whistle-blowing on illegal corporate activities, or even avoiding unjust censorship by dictatorial governments. However, the reality is that more than half of dark websites are used for criminal activity.
Connecting your own software or hardware to the dark web is a high-risk activity. Instead of going the DIY route, let The Purple Guys put our monitoring services to work for you. We’ll give you the peace of mind that lets you sleep at night, knowing that our Dark Web ID Monitoring Tool is protecting you and your business from potential threats 24/7.