from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – HACKERS have reportedly stolen and sold online identities of some 48 000 South Africans on bot markets.
This as the continent’s most advanced economy battles rising cyber crime.
At least 5 million people have been affected globally.
They are selling webcam snaps, screenshots, up-to-date logins, cookies and digital fingerprints.
The stolen identities are sold on bot markets for R102 (US$5,93) on average.
This is according to research by the cyber security company NordVPN, which looked into three major bot markets.
In this case, bot refers to data-harvesting malware.
Bot markets are online marketplaces hackers use to sell data they have stolen l from their victims’ devices with bot malware.
Marijus Briedis, Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN, said bot markets different from other dark web markets as they are able to get large amounts of data about one person in one place.
“And after the bot is sold, they guarantee the buyer that the victim’s information will be updated as long as their device is infected by the bot,” Briedis explained.
“A simple password is no longer worth money to criminals, when they can buy logins, cookies, and digital fingerprints in one click for just R102,” the official said.
Meanwhile, aggregated data from Surfshark Antivirus shows a noticeable rise of 17 percent of cyber threats in South Africa in the week leading up to the recent Black Friday.
South Africa has a threat rate of 13, which is 22 percent lower than the global average.
“The holiday shopping season starting with Black Friday is not only beneficial for the retailers but cybercriminals too,” said Nedas Kazlauskas, Antivirus Product Owner at Surfshark.
“People searching for gifts and deals online during the period of huge discounts are more likely to click on suspicious links, download malicious files, and infect their devices,” Kazlauskas added.
– CAJ News