McAfee: ‘Dark Web’ Is Getting More Dangerous

Computer security giant McAfee recently released it’s 2013 fourth quarter threats report. What were the findings?

On average, McAfee found an average of 200 new malware samples every minute in 2013. That’s equals out to be around 288,000 new samples every single day. This stat shows just how malevolent the cyber world is becoming and your increased need for a good antivirus software.

The McAfee report credits the dark web as a key enabler for recent high profile POS attacks. POS, or point-of-sale attacks, occur during the payment process on online stores and their sole purpose is to attain consumers credit and debit card information.

This information is then typically sold in online forums. These forums are open to the public and the credit card information is sold in two different formats: CVV2 and Track 2. The CVV2 contains the credit card number along with the security code on the back. The Track 2 data contains the information from the cards magnetic strip and can be used to make clone cards and use them in stores or even at an ATM if they obtain the PIN.

CVV2 data can cost anywhere from one penny to $5. Track 2 data can cost up to $100.

The McAfee report claims the dark web is responsible for propagating recent attacks such as the one on retail giant Target, in which hackers were able to obtain credit card information on over 70 million customers.

With how easy it is becoming to purchase “off the shelf” POS malware online, researchers at McAfee say that the dark web is significantly increasing the frequency in which POS attacks are happening.

These cyber criminals are buying the POS malware and making modifications to target their attacks. It’s getting extremely easy to pull off these attacks and steal sensitive information

While talking about the dark web, TK Keanini, CTO of Lancope said: “This marketplace would have happened earlier but two things needed to become widely available, one is a network infrastructure that could let cyber criminals operate anonymously and the other is a currency that would let them conduct commerce anonymously: these are the TOR network and Bitcoin, respectively.”

Keanini also explained that the barrier for entry into the world of cyber crime is easier than it ever has been before. All a potential cyber criminal has to do is click and buy the malware software and then he or she has ready-to-launch malware tools.