Ads for Network Access Sales Via Dark Web on the Rise


There are plenty of cybercriminals who can access your network and wreak havoc on your IT infrastructure. On the dark web, an entire economy has been created for “access miners” — cybercriminals who comb through IT networks for weaknesses and then offer credentials on the access-for-sale market on the dark web. 

In a recent report, Positive Technologies announced the manufacturing industry is among the most vulnerable. Manufacturing ranks second among the most common companies who had access to their networks put up for sale by cybercriminals on the dark web at 14 percent. Services (17 percent) leads this category, and research and education come in third (12 percent).  

About $600,000 worth of corporate network access is sold on the dark web on a quarterly basis. Although the number of available offers is increasing, the cumulative worth is changing slightly, indicating that the average price per access is going down. Cheap access typically carries no access privileges, and it is usually offered by inexperienced cybercriminals who fear following through with the attack.

The cost of access typically depends on: 

  • Number of computers to be exposed 
  • Account privileges 
  • Company size 
  • Corporate revenue and other financial indicators 
  • Industry 

The number of new ads for access on dark web forums increased with each quarter starting in Q1 2020. Most of these were ads for sale of access to corporate networks that have been breached. In 2020, Positive Technologies identified 707 new ads for sale of access. Compared with 2019, the number of new ads increased sevenfold.  

However, as many as 590 latest offers were found in the first quarter of 2021 alone! The number of new ads seeking partners and hackers for hire also increased: it is safe to assume that this was due to the emergence of new ransomware partner programs and the expansion of existing groups that distribute this type of malware.  

There are some steps you can take to keep your corporate credentials off the dark web. For instance, use unique passwords for all accounts and systems. Be sure to replace all passwords regularly. As 2W Tech has been hammering home to our clients, enable multifactor authentication immediately! Provide safety awareness training to your employees. And always make sure you are monitoring the dark web.  

2W Tech relies on Dark Web ID from ID Agent, the industry’s first commercial solution to detect your compromised credentials in real time on the dark web. Using a proprietary technology, Dark Web ID vigilantly searches the most secretive corners of the Internet to find compromised credentials associated with your company, contractors, and other personnel, and notifies you immediately when these critical assets are compromised, before they are used for identity theft, data breaches or other crimes. Call 2W Tech today to learn more. 

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