Forget about credit cards — cyber crooks can get a lot more money for your stolen Uber or Facebook account these days, a new report says.
Uber, PayPal and even Netflix accounts have become much more valuable to criminals, as evidenced by the price these stolen identifiers now fetch on the so-called "deep Web," according to security company Trend Micro.
Stolen Uber account information on underground marketplaces sells for an average of $3.78 per account, while personally identifiable information (PII) was listed for $1 to $3.30 on average, oddly down from $4 per record in 2014, according to data compiled by Trend Micro for CNBC last week. (PII includes any information that can be used to commit identity fraud, like Social Security numbers or date of birth and varies in price depending on the specific information for sale.)
So how could a criminal use a stolen Uber account? Those credentials can either be used to build a fuller picture of a victim for identity theft, or they can be used to charge phantom rides, experts said. A phantom ride is when a criminal sets up a fake driver account, and charges nonexistent rides to stolen accounts.
They also found the following accounts for sale at these average prices per account; PayPal — with a guaranteed $500 balance — ($6.43), Facebook ($3.02), Google Voice (97 cents) and Netflix (76 cents). By contrast, U.S.-issued credit card credentials, sold in bundles, were listed for no more than 22 cents each.
"It's an incredible underground ecosystem. There is a high level of competition for these criminal buyers and there are a lot of different types of forums. It's incredibly diverse, but incredibly mature," said Ed Cabrera, Trend Micro’s vice president of cybersecurity strategy.
A quick search for tweets with the hashtag #uberaccounthacked reveals a number of complaints related to "ghost rides," in which users claim their Uber accounts have been charged for rides they did not take. These are often in far flung locations across the globe.
"Our security teams are laser focused on protecting the integrity of our community's Uber accounts," an Uber spokesperson said. "We use technical measures to detect any issues and are always enhancing the measures we deploy to protect our users' accounts."
The reason why credit cards are worth less to crooks at this point is because banks and credit card issuers have developed more sophisticated fraud detection systems, rendering stolen cards worthless very quickly, Cser said.