Know Your Internet Bad Guys

Anyone who makes a habit of wandering around in cyberspace should print this TrendLabs infographic, posted Wednesday, and keep it close at hand. This colorful web poster contains info on Internet bad guys, and helps people avoid getting scammed, hacked, or hurt by malware.

Titled "Know Your Enemies Online," the graphic lets you identify typical bad actors on the Web through capsule descriptions of their methods and motives. For example, the "Social Media Scammer" wants to "steal your social media login credentials" and will do this by spamming victims' social media accounts with links to malicious videos, promos, and apps.

Other bad guys targeted in the poster include "Phishers," "FakeAV (Anti-Virus) Creators," "Spammers, "App Trojanizers," and "Malvertisers." Each capsule is broken down into "Modus Operandi" (how they do it), "Business Plan" (what they hope to accomplish), and "Famous Line" (for "Social Media Scammers," it's "OMG! This is so FUNNY!").

In addition to profiling cyber miscreants, the infographic includes a rundown of how information highwaymen make their money. A credit card number, for example, goes for anywhere from $1 to $10 on the black market. Bank credentials sell for $25 to $35 for a set.

There are also bulk sales: $15 for 1000 Facebook accounts, $8 for 1000 webmail accounts, and $75 for 2200 Twitter accounts.

Black market rates for credit cards are particularly interesting because it varies from region to region. Credit card numbers that originate in the U.S. sell for $1 to $3, numbers that originate in Europe, Central America, and Australia sell for $3 to $8, and numbers that originate in Asia and the Middle East sell for $6 to $10.

According to Rik Ferguson, director of security at Trend Micro, the difference in value can be accounted for by supply and demand.

"There are many more U.S. credit card numbers up for sale than [rest of world] cards in all the forums I have seen," Ferguson told PCWorld. "Simple economics says that will drive down the price."

The reason there are so many U.S. credit card numbers on the market is that they're easier to exploit.

"Security mechanisms for U.S. cards are, in general, much lower than European ones," Feguson explained. "Chip and PIN, for example, is hardly deployed at all in the U.S., meaning that transactions are still based on mag stripe data, which is easily cloned, and there is no second factor, like a PIN, to complicate matters for the criminal."

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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