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Your Online profile is probably on sale for as little as Rs 140

The profile is an important part of our life as they contain our vital information including our bank details, phone no, addresses etc.

But Somewhere in the dark corner of the World Wide Web, your profile may be up for sale. Many companies also buy this data from hackers and crooks.

The cost of a set of such data? As little as Rs 140 a day.

The dark web contains all this data which is not accessible by the regular browsers and it can be accessed by the TOR browser that allows the user to access the dark web and anonymous data. With the help of tor browsers, we can get access to the videos that we have to pay for free. Among those looking for such data are outfits planning cyber attacks, those keen to track consumer behaviour.

Companies also buy this data to check the consumer activity and such data sets are being bought by companies looking for information on competitors’ consumer base, and even for potentially tracking key executives of rival firms who may have sensitive and crucial data.

Hackers works in community one group leak data and other group decrypt it .“What is happening now is that a third group makes a list of these decrypted passwords and stores them in a central server that provides data sets from these breaches, making it a common source for hackers,” says Rajshekhar Rajaharia, an independent cybersecurity researcher.

A single password should not be used. You are particularly vulnerable if you use a single password for multiple online accounts, or have passwords that are only slightly different. Hackers are estimated to have collected more than 7,000-8,000 databases from smaller websites alone, apart from data hoovered up from major sites.

The data is sold in various packages from as little as $2 (Rs 140) a day and up to $70 (Rs 4,900) for around three months, assuming a rupee-dollar exchange rate of 70. Customers pay using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple, Ethereum and Zcash.

If a hacker gets multiple passwords from the users a profile can be made in minutes. Many users have one password for multiple accounts which is tracked and user lost data making their behaviour predictable, say experts. Tracking user data depends on the person’s activity level on the internet.

“If a user has multiple accounts across websites, cracking his or her personal information online is much easier than one who spends less time on the web,” says Rajaharia.

Cybersecurity expert Gautam Kumawat says, a “regular user’s password is usually available for as little as one rupee, but there are lists of high-profile public figures like politicians or Bollywood stars whose data is sold for Rs 500-2,000”. Stringent laws against data breaches can put a stop to this, say experts.

“A user should ensure strong passwords, avoid opening phishing and spam emails. Also, when companies suffer data hacks and breaches, they should be made accountable,” says Sanjay Katkar, chief technology officer at Quick Heal. “Even after multiple instances of data breaches, companies have not faced any repercussions.”

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