Panda Security Digs into Reasons Behind Cybercrime

Sue Marquette Poremba

Security writers, security vendors and anyone who is concerned about security, talks about cybercrime. After all, we know the implications and what happens when cybercrime hits a business or individual. Now, Panda Security provides a look at how cybercriminals operate.


The result is a white paper entitled, "The Cybercrime Black Market Uncovered." According to the Panda Lab blog, the research came about when Luis Corrons wanted to see how cybercrime had evolved since he first looked into the issue in 2007 when cybercrime was mostly about Trojans and stolen financial data.


What he found is that the basics have stayed pretty much the same-Trojans and stolen financial data still drive cybercrime-but today, criminals are more specialized in their efforts. His blog states:

Credit card details can be purchased for as little as $2 per card, but this level does not provide additional information or verification of the account balance available. If the buyer wants a guarantee for the available credit line or bank balance, the price increases to $80 for smaller bank balances and upwards of $700 to access accounts with a guaranteed balance of $82,000.
Prices are higher if the accounts have a history of online shopping or use payment platforms such as PayPal. For a simple account without a guaranteed balance, we found prices starting at $10 and increasing to $1,500 depending on the platform and the guarantee of available funds. Similarly, these cyber-criminals also offer cloned credit/debit cards (from $180), card cloning machines ($200-1,000), and even fake ATM machines (from $3,500 depending on the model). Additional products such as money laundering services (bank transfers or cashing checks) are available for a commission ranging from 10 to 40 percent of the operation. If buyers want to use stolen bank details to buy products online, but are wary of being traced through the delivery address, the cyber-criminals will make the purchase and forward the goods for a fee of between $30 and $300 (depending on the chosen product).

The report includes a list of services and products available and their prices in the cybercrime market. It also discusses the methods cybercriminals use to commit the crimes and the most common cybercrime professions.


For all intents and purposes, cybercrime has evolved into a real business industry, albeit conducted underground.

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