CIO Symmetry

Apr 17 2008   3:17PM GMT

Report: Stacks of printed data selling for 50 cents

Glen Weaver Profile: The Weave

This story would be hilarious if it weren’t so damn scary. Turns out that a new report from Symantec Corp. found that credit card numbers sell on the black market for “as little as 40 cents each.” Access to a bank account: $10. This, I must assume, does not apply to my bank account, which may have less than $10 in it.

The next number is almost unbelievable: A 468% increase in “threats” (not really defined in the story) from 2006 to 2007.

Apparently, sellers need to keep a good rep. A Symantec vice president says that people selling stolen data need to be honest about how much cash accounts contain, otherwise they’ll lose credibility.

“It’s a sort of honor among thieves, and it’s very strictly enforced,” the VP says. This appears to be the digital equivalent of a drug dealer cutting a bag of cocaine with baking powder.

Here’s my favorite part: Apparently the identity of a European Union citizen goes for almost twice as much as an American citizen. I’ll let you make the self-deprecating joke here.

All in all, a good read. I found this on a strange, broad sheet of paper filled with lines of black type. The header tells me that this curiosity comes from the past – April 8 of this year, to be precise. The upper left-hand corner is coded “B6” and suggests the theme of this page is “Business.”

About 80 percent of this sheet is dedicated to advertisements. But a small hole of information still exists at the top. This “paper of record” is good stuff. I just can’t help but feel there is a better, cheaper way to distribute it.

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