A cybersecurity study by NordVPN reveals a higher availability of stolen credit card credentials belonging to Britons on the dark web compared to other European nations. Explore the alarming findings of this study.

According to a recent study of dark web data by cybersecurity company NordVPN, more stolen credit card credentials belonging to Britons are available for sale on the dark web than those belonging to any other European nation.

Only cards from the US and India are more commonly available, according to NordVPN’s analysis of six million stolen details that were found to be being sold illegally on online marketplaces. UK credit and debit card information was among the most prevalent on the dark web.

The fact that two-thirds (63%) of the card data provided from the UK was “bundled” with a variety of additional sensitive data, including home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, as well as National Insurance numbers, is even more troubling. These particulars make it simpler for online thieves to execute identity theft, indicating that victims’ information was probably compromised rather than “brute-forced.”

52 percent of the data stolen from the UK came from debit cards, 37 percent from credit cards, and 11 percent from other payment cards. With 57% of the total sales, Visa cards were the most popular listing. Amex (ten percent) and Mastercard (29 percent) were next.

How much does it cost criminals to use your card information, and what will it cost you?

The average cost of UK card info is merely £4.61, which is 18% less than the global average of £5.61. Fraudsters would lose the most money purchasing payment information from Denmark because it was the most expensive study at £9.23.

Since the end of 2021, the average cost of stolen credit card information has decreased by almost a quarter overall. This information demonstrates the expansion and profitability of low-cost internet fraud and scams including phishing and malware.

The amount of information readily available alongside card information means that fraudsters have more choices available to them, including identity theft, as more sophisticated assaults (such as phishing and malware) grow more common.

The UK had 164,143 credit card details displayed in total on the dark web, which is nearly as much as the next two greatest European victims combined: France (97,032) and Italy (78,676), according to NordVPN’s research. Even while UK payment information is more widely available, the study discovered that compared to some of its international competitors, Brits are actually less susceptible to the repercussions of card fraud.

“Just the iceberg’s tip”

NordVPN’s Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity specialist, talked about the study’s importance. The card numbers discovered are merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of payment fraud, according to Warmenhoven. This is a crime that has a significant knock-on impact, and the additional information sold makes it far riskier because a cunning criminal can use it to obtain more personal information.

“Once an attacker gets the victim’s name, address, and email, they might even take advantage of legal means, like the GDPR, to carry out identity theft or other nefarious deeds.

“In the past, experts connected payment card fraud to brute-forcing attacks, in which a thief tries to use their victim’s card by guessing their security code and payment card number. The majority of the cards discovered were sold together with their victims’ home and email addresses, making it hard to brute force them. Therefore, we can infer that they were taken using more advanced techniques like malware and phishing.

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