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Masses of personal Canada data for sale on the dark web

The most valuable illicit data from a Canadian source is a driving license.

Image: © PRENSA SENADO/AFP Handout
Image: © PRENSA SENADO/AFP Handout

A new study by cybersecurity company NordVPN has analyzed a market on the dark web that has sold items worth $17.3 million Canadian dollars. Found within this murky side of the web are many Canadian items or pieces of data for sale. The cost of these bits of information, range from $6 to $173.

The dark web site studied represents just one of 30,000 sites thought to be engaged in trading and selling stollen data. Much of these data are ‘personally identifiable’ enabling criminals to target people, set up fake profiles, and steal credentials.

Accounting for the most valuable illicit data from a Canadian source is a driving license, which is at the $173 mark. At the other end of the scale,  Canadian payment card data costs around $6, whereas mobile phone numbers cost around $12.50.

Some of the data available was drawn from an AT&T hacking exercise that took place in 2021. The hacker group responsible has been trying to sell the data for $1 million on the dark web.

Various items of Canadian data are evaluated in the report:

Canadian items:Average price:
Payment card data6 C$
Mobile phone12.5 C$
Personal emails batch17 C$
Business emails batch12.5 C$
Voters’ emails12.5 C$
Full personal identity data set42 C$
ID102 C$
Passport11.8 C$
Driving License173 C$

As well as the above, the report notes that some criminals also buy emails in batches and use them for phishing attacks or other malicious purposes, such as influencing important government decisions or election results.

As an example, Canadian voter emails from the whole country can be bought for $12.50, which is quite a low price knowing that US voters’ emails are sold for $124.60 per batch

Also valued relatively lowly are Canadian passports, at a cost of $11.80 average. These are the third cheapest passports in the market. Whether this means Canada is a less attractive place right now or has stricter laws with a higher chance of catching someone using false credentials is uncertain.

The data was compiled in partnership with independent researchers specializing in cybersecurity incident research. They evaluated one marketplace on a dark web and analyzed its listing data which included title, price, and country of shipment

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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