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29 November 2019 11:07

World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee New Zealand

Dark web criminals 'gearing up for Black Friday' with offers on drugs and stolen data

Criminals on the dark web are gearing up for Black Friday, with special offers on illegal drugs, fake identity documents and stolen data. According to The Independent, a cyber risk firm called Digital Shadows discovered that criminals are seemingly offering deals and discounts on the dark web in line with the big shopping event—Black Friday 2019. For this reason, organizations like Digital Shadows have been monitoring, tracking, and studying the trends and activities in the dark web for many years now in order to understand it. The Dark Web Shopping Sale: Black Friday and Cyber Monday In a recent discovery, Digital Shadows found out that dark web activities seem to mimic the trends in the surface web. This data came from the apparent increase in Black Friday deal listings found in various threads all over the dark web.

Vendors on the dark web are currently offering huge discounts on illegal items such as drugs, hacking tools, and stolen credit cards. Digital Shadows found about 1,600 'Black Friday 2019' deals on these products a week before Black Friday, and they are expecting a drastic increase in the number of these bargains on an actual day. The firm is even positive that an even bigger sale will happen on the dark web during Cyber Monday, Dec. 2. The Threatening Consequences of Dark Web Shopping Sale Currently, these big shopping events on the dark web introduce us to the possibility of hackers to increase. As the surface web is also busy with purchasing discounted products in various retailers during these days, it's highly possible that lawbreakers take this chance to launch cyberattacks to sabotage and hack consumers and companies.

Digital Shadows warns that "As more and more people turn to online shopping, cybercriminals are provided with a much larger landscape to conduct fraud. The firm is also warning online users that dark web vendors make use of popular messaging apps, Telegram and Instagram, to promote their products, so it's best to be cautious when it comes to clicking ads or links on these platforms. ALSO READ: Save Money Using These Budgeting and Shopping Tips for Black Friday Sale 2019 UK criminals make more selling drugs online than anywhere in Europe Dark web criminals are jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon by offering deals and discount codes on drugs, fake ID and stolen data, say experts. The annual discounting has become a major event for legitimate businesses and it now appears to have filtered down to the online underworld. "We've seen the same strategies that online retailers and physical retailers use, being used in these criminal markets," said James Chappell, co-founder of online security firm Digital Shadows.

UK criminals make more from selling drugs online than anywhere else in Europe, according to a report this week from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Sky News also reported on how social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are increasingly being used to sell illegal drugs. Last month, the National Crime Agency's director of investigations Nikki Holland also said she would like to invest more in fighting illegal activity on the dark web. The dark web is accessed using special browsers and offers a high degree of anonymity. Back in the legal world of Black Friday deals, consumer groups warned this week that many of the offers are not as good as they seem and are cheaper at other times of the year.

Devious criminals on the dark web are offering Black Friday special offers on illegal drugs, fake identity documents and stolen data. Stolen personal data and credit cards, fake identification documents and illegal drugs are all offered for sale on dark web marketplaces that are designed to be untraceable. Co-founder of security firm Digital Shadows, James Chappell, said: "Society has become more digital, and along with that, so has crime. "People who buy products and services from criminals are also consumers in their own right, they're familiar with concepts such as Black Friday. "We've seen the same strategies that online retailers and physical retailers use, being used in these criminal markets.

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"We see them used either to provide discounts, 'stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap' type strategies, and we've seen the same with discount codes, introductions, building up excitement before the event, adverts that entice and enthuse." A report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, published earlier this week, found that criminals in the UK make more from selling illegal drugs online than anywhere else in Europe. Mr Chappell warned that while the dark web can be used legitimately by those who want increased privacy, those who use it must take care. The long arm of the law is active online and it's not a good idea to go around committing crimes on the internet just like it's not a very good idea to go around committing crimes on your local high street. Last month National Crime Agency director of investigations Nikki Holland told the PA news agency last month that she would like to invest heavily in tackling drug dealers who operate on the dark web. She said: "From an agency perspective I would invest a lot more in activities and specialist capabilities around the dark web and some of the covert stuff that we do. Black Friday deals have spread to black-market retailers hawking drugs, stolen data and fake IDs online, according to new reports. The annual discounting bonanza for legitimate businesses is now also a staple of the internet underworld, digital security firm co-founder James Chappell told Sky News. "We've seen the same strategies that online retailers and physical retailers use, being used in these criminal markets," said Chappell, whose company is called Digital Shadows. "We see them used either to provide discounts, 'stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap' type strategies, and we've seen the same with discount codes, introductions, building up excitement before the event, adverts that entice and enthuse," he told the outlet. A week before the big day, Chappell's company found more than 1,600 posts about "Black Friday 2019" on dark web criminal forums, according to the Independent. Cybercriminals in the UK make more in illegal online sales than any other European country, per a new report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.