What Happens To Stolen Data?

What Happens To Stolen Data?

Data theft is a crime in which an attacker uses fraud or deceit to obtain the victim's confidential information and uses it for criminal purposes on behalf of the victim. As a rule, the goal of attackers is to obtain economic benefits.

There are many ways to steal personal data, but the main one is hacking databases. Poor, outdated threat protection, or just a bug in the system that hasn't been fixed yet can all lead to data leakage.

The more information about yourself you store in digital form and the more actively you use the Internet, the more likely it is that your data will fall into the hands of ill-wishers. Let's see what hackers can steal and why they need this information.

Bank card details

Almost any activity of hackers is aimed at obtaining monetary benefits. The most popular methods are skimming and phishing, and the latter has a huge number of varieties.

The basis of phishing is the use of a person’s psychological weaknesses or his inattention in order for him to hand over the data of his card or account in the Internet bank to fraudsters.

The classic type of phishing is sending emails with a link to a malicious site or a virus via e-mail. The email can be disguised as a work email and link to an infected page or have an infected download file attached. If a virus enters a computer, it will be able to transfer all information about saved logins and passwords to scammers. Naturally, there may be passwords from online wallets or Internet banking.

The email may masquerade as a message from trading sites that ask you to verify the authenticity of your account in order to avoid blocking. The link in such a letter will lead you to the seller’s website, which is completely identical in appearance, where there will be a form for entering a login and password, which you will need to enter for “confirmation”. However, after entering, nothing will happen, and your account data with the card linked to it will be leaked to intruders.

There is a phone type of phishing called vishing. You receive a message by mail or SMS with a request to call the specified number to the bank to clarify some data or solve problems that have arisen. Or scammers can call you personally, disguising their number as a bank number. Ultimately, they will swindle you out of card details that cannot be called on the phone to anyone at all. If such a situation arises or you feel pressure on yourself, say that you will approach the bank in person to resolve the issue and hang up. This will help protect yourself and your money.

Logins and passwords

A virus that transmits registration data can get on your computer even without phishers. For example, if you download a pirated program. Among its files may be one or more infected. A click on a suspicious news item with a screaming headline, along with a link to the site, can open a loading tab with a virus for a split second. Sometimes entire free programs or utilities like various computer boosters can be created just for the purpose of spreading the virus embedded in them.

In addition, if you use the same password on many sites, then if one of them is hacked, scammers will be able to access your other pages. Hacked accounts can be used to send spam, scam money from your friends and colleagues on social networks, recover or change internet banking passwords, and much more.

Use of computer power

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A virus that appears on your computer or smartphone may not steal passwords, but simply sleep quietly until the moment its owner needs it. At the right moment, an attacker can activate a program that potentially infects hundreds, thousands and millions of other devices, and direct all these devices to a specific site, thus bringing down its work. Even smart toasters and kettles connected to the Internet can be used in such an attack.

Malicious software can mine cryptocurrency on your computer or even your phone. The amount of crypt received from one device is not large, but a whole network of infected gadgets can more than compensate for this.

Smartphone Information

Banking transactions can be carried out through modern smartphones, they store a lot of passwords and notes. At the same time, the average user often pays less attention to the protection of the phone than to the protection of the computer.

A virus can be caught by installing an unverified program even from the official app store. Also in potential danger are those who install hacked programs. The methods of defeating the phone are similar to those by which the virus enters the computer. However, a smartphone controlled by cybercriminals opens up slightly different opportunities for them.

This includes bypassing two-factor authentication when paying with a bank card - fraudsters can see what is happening on your screen, or have full control of the phone and easily get a one-time bank password using previously stolen card data. Surveillance also becomes available, because the smartphone is more often with us and has both built-in cameras and a microphone, as well as a geolocation system.


Correspondence, social networks, and even cloud storage can store very important documents, sometimes even commercial secrets. Having received your passwords, scammers can use all this without restriction.

However, you can get a passport photo not only through account hacking. Sometimes scammers create fake job postings on job sites. At the stage of correspondence with the applicant, under the pretext of checking a criminal record / credit history / absence from the black list of the company, they ask him for a passport photo. If the victim sends a document, the scammers stop communicating. After that, they can use this photo to conduct their fraudulent activities on your behalf, providing your passport.

Security with Nord VPN

Nord VPN is able to provide you with a secure Internet experience. In addition, it has the Nord Pass feature, which allows you to create, store, and manage very strong passwords. Nord Pass allows you to create the most secure password that meets all security standards. You can use this feature only by purchasing a subscription to Nord VPN.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once data is stolen, how is it typically used or misused, and what can individuals do to protect themselves from such risks?
Stolen data can be used for identity theft, financial fraud, or sold on the dark web. Individuals can protect themselves by using strong, unique passwords, monitoring their accounts for unusual activity, and being cautious about sharing personal information online.

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