In October 2013, KrebsOnSecurity published an exclusive story detailing how a Vietnamese man running an online identity theft service bought personal and financial records on Americans directly from a company owned by Experian, one of the three major U.S. credit bureaus. Today’s story looks deeper at the damage wrought in this colossal misstep by one of the nation’s largest data brokers.
In the wake of revelations that credit bureau Experian sold consumer data to the proprietors of an underground identity theft service, a powerful U.S. senator is calling on the company to divulge more information on the extent of the potential damage to consumers.
An identity theft service that sold Social Security and drivers license numbers — as well as bank account and credit card data on millions of Americans — purchased much of its data from Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, according to a lengthy investigation by KrebsOnSecurity.
How much does it cost for thieves to discover the data that unlocks a person’s identity for creditors, such as your Social Security number, birthday, or mother’s maiden name? Would it surprise you to learn that crooks are selling this data to any and all comers for pennies on the dollar?
At least, that’s the going price at superget.info. This fraudster-friendly site has been operating since July 2010, and markets the ability to look up SSNs, DOBs, birthdays and other sensitive information on millions of Americans. Registration is free, and accounts are funded via WebMoney and Liberty Reserve, virtual currencies that are popular in the cybercriminal underground.
Once your account is funded, Superget lets users search for specific individuals by name, city, and state. Each “credit” costs USD$1, and a successful hit on a Social Security number or date of birth costs 3 credits each. Of course, the more credits you buy, the cheaper the searches are per credit. Six credits cost $4.99; 35 credits cost $20.99, and $100.99 buys you 230 credits. Customers with special needs to can avail themselves of the “reseller plan,” which promises 1,500 credits for $500.99, and 3,500 credits for $1000.99.