Stolen identities of UAE residents among the highest priced on the dark web

Prices paid for US identities are the cheapest as they are the most widely available, Comparitech finds

The cost of identifying and stopping a data breach runs into many millions. EPA
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Identities stolen from UAE consumers are among the most expensive for sale by criminals on the dark web.

Stolen records for residents of the UAE, Japan and the European Union fetch an average of $25 each, according to research from UK-based technology comparison website Comparitech.

The dark web is part of the internet that is not visible by search engines and requires the use of an anonymising browser and specific software to access.

Identities of US citizens are the cheapest to acquire, at an average of $8 per record, Comparitech said.

“After a data breach or successful phishing campaign, much of the stolen personal information is sold on black markets ... many such marketplaces reside on the dark web,” the company said.

Researchers analysed the prices of stolen credit cards, hacked PayPal accounts and private social security numbers on more than 40 different dark web marketplaces to reach their findings.


“We looked at prices based on account balance, credit limit, country and what information is included with a given listing,” it added.

Prices for stolen credit cards range from $0.11 to $986. Hacked PayPal accounts fetch higher amounts of between $5 to $1,767, depending on the details found in the records.

“The median credit limit on a stolen credit card is 24 times the price of the card … the median account balance of a hacked PayPal account is 32 times the price on the dark web,” the report showed.

The cyber security market is forecast to be worth $363.05 billion in 2025, almost 125 per cent more than the amount spent in 2019, according to Mordor Intelligence, a research consultancy. The market is projected to grow at an annual growth rate of 14.5 per cent over the next five years.

The US and the UK accounted for the highest percentage of stolen credit card details worldwide, which reflected in lower average prices paid for them. US credit card information fetches an average price of $1.50 and UK record fetch $2.50. Nearly two out of every three stolen credit cards are issued in the US, Comparitech said.

The highest amount paid for credit card details are those emanating from Europe, fetching $8 each. Japan, the UAE, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia tied for second-most expensive at $7 each.