Dark web markets list Valentine’s Day deals for romantic hackers

  14 February 2019    Read: 5596
  Dark web markets list Valentine’s Day deals for romantic hackers

Valentine's Day deals have been appearing on popular dark web marketplaces, offering romantic deals for cybercriminals,  The Independent reported.

Enterprising vendors on sites like Dream Market are advertising drug-infused cakes, pink-dyed cocaine, and even Valentine's-related hacking deals. The listings, seen by The Independent, also include specials for red heart ecstasy tablets.

Despite efforts by law enforcement agencies, illicit markets continue to proliferate on the dark web – a hidden section of the internet that is only reachable using specialist software.

Competition among sellers has seen them mimic marketing techniques used by traditional retailers, such as offering sales around major consumer holidays.

Dark web researchers have monitored the trends in recent years, revealing a growing push to cash in on Valentine's Day.

One particularly eye-catching deal, spotted by Terbium Labs researcher Emily Wilson, offered a "Date Night" package of stolen credentials for Netflix and Uber accounts, together with a free pizza scam guide.

"Holidays offer vendors the opportunity to differentiate themselves, draw in new customers, and potentially move out old stock – just like a legitimate business," Ms Wilson told.

"Vendors have even offered bundles that include stolen credentials for video streaming services and ride share apps, and a guide on how to scam major pizza chains to get a free dinner."

Valentine's Day is also a popular holiday for drug sales and counterfeit jewelry, according to Ms Wilson, as well as the ever-present account credentials for adult entertainment sites.

Despite no real link, the fraud economy also seems to like marking the holiday with deals for fraudulent information.

On one major dark web market, an Australian seller is offering an extensive collection of hacked information in a holiday sale pack, which would allow buyers to create fraudulent bank accounts.

Ms Wilson said that sales around Valentine's Day and other holidays are representative of a much bigger issue: that stolen data and illegal substances are so widely available that vendors have to offer discounts to stay competitive.

"It may seem like a novelty that the criminal economy participates in standard sales and marketing tactics, but it’s a testament to how well-established these marketplaces are," she said.

"This data – our sensitive data, repeatedly compromised across countless data breaches – is just a normal part of doing business for these vendors, who have the luxury of focusing on ways to capture more market share amongst their criminal colleagues."

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