Cybercrime is a thriving online business in which anything to do with cyber transactions involving credit/debit cards, bank account details, fake online stores or a fake ATM machine are all available at a price.

PandaLabs,an international network of research and technical support centers fighting viruses and malware, has given a list of prices for the common online thefts occurring every day. Bank account details -- for accounts with six figure balances -- are available for $80 to $700. Credit card machines go for $200 to $1,000 and a fake ATM machine for $3,500. One can design and publish a fake online store for $30 to $300. Money laundering is on offer for anywhere between 10 to 40 per cent of the amount.

With the economic recession, the demand for such thieving methods has increased. It works like any demand and supply model, reports PandaLabs. “This cyber-criminal black market caters to buyers’ needs just like any other business and functions in similar ways,” the company says. “Since there is a great deal of competition in this industry, the rule of supply and demand ensures that prices are competitive, and operators even offer bulk discounts to higher-volume buyers,” the report continues. “They will offer free ‘trial’ access to stolen bank or credit card details, as well as money back guarantees and free exchanges.”


If you know where to look, there are any number of underground forums which can give you easy leads to the black market for such goods. The payments are ordinarily through Western Union and Webmoney. The business is anonymous and counducted through instant messaging apps.

Statistics show how many people have been victims. The figures have been compiled by collating data from several sources including Norton, Wikipedia and the I.D. Theft Center.

1.6 milllion households in America have had their bank account credit/debit card information compromised.

According to a Norton report, nearly 65 per cent of global citizens have been victims of Cybercrime.

50 per cent of the victims come to know of the crime within 3 months but a good 15 per cent discover the theft 3-4 years later.

On an average $4,850 are stolen from Americans which means nearly three month’s salary for some.

The common methods of stealing are:

Skimming information during transactions

Hacking online when you e-shop

Discarded hardware. When peripherals are not disposed of properly dumpster and bin trawling is done to collect these, which can contain valuable data.

Over the shoulder peeping and gathering information when one logs in.

43 per cent of the victims know their perpetrators


The industry which caters to these cyber trawlers are the malware developers, the Trojan virus being the most prominent. Trojans accounts for 71 per cent of all new malaware. Nearly 99 per cent of them are targeted to Windows operating systems.

The PandaLabs report says that in 2003 there were not more than 30,000 strains of cataloged malware. That figure rose to 60 million by 2010.

New targets of cybercrime

According to a new 2010 Cisco Annual security Report on cybercrime, with organizations shoring up their Windows operating systems, the hackers are increasingly targeting other operating systems for smart phones, tablet computers, and mobile platforms.

One method is money mules. People are recruited all over the world to set up bank accounts, or even use their own bank accounts, to help scammers cash out or launder money. There are thousands who have received requests for such money laundering through e-mails which claim dire straits or used famous names who would offer a part of the money to allow them access to their accounts.

Some thieves exploit people's trust, contacting them on social networking sites.