Director of VORAS Consulting, Paulius Petretis On Why Criminals Value Email Accounts
Paulius Petretis, leading cyber security expert reveals the importance email accounts have in the life of cyber criminals and why .
Vilnius, Lithuania – June 10, 2017 – Paulius Petretis, CEO of VORAS Consulting posted a new article on the company website entitled “How Much Is An Email Account Worth To Cyber Criminals”, in which Mr. Petretis speaks to the vulnerability of anyone with an email account.
Petretis points out that, “Just about everyone these days has an email account. Many people have more than one with separate personal and business email accounts.” He continues adding, “And a majority of people access their email accounts on their mobile devices. However, most people more than likely do not think about how their email accounts can be of value to cyber criminals.”
According to Petretis, “Today cybercrime is escalating exponentially. Never has it been more important to be aware of the value cyber criminals place on email accounts. “ He continues to elaborate, “As of March of this year, 2017, there were 1.2 million email accounts for sale on the dark web marketplace. Among those are 245,000 Yahoo accounts and more than 500,000 Gmail accounts. And, all of them are sold complete with usernames, email addresses and passwords.”
“You may wonder what can be gained by being able to access your email account,” writes Petretis. He elaborates, “Well, think about the fact that whenever you set up your bank account or an account with a retailer, you are typically asked to provide your email address.”
He continues saying, “Whoever is in control of the email address can reset the password of any associated services or accounts –merely by requesting a password reset email. Hackers can access your contacts, your retail accounts and your bank accounts through your email account. So, as you can see, this can mean big business for the bad guys.”
Petretis shares some interesting facts and figures provided at krebsonsecurity.come. He writes, “According to Krebsonsecurity.com there are price lists for various types of accounts that can be accessed through email accounts. As the article states, “One prominent credential seller in the underground peddles iTunes accounts for $8, and Fedex.com, Continental.com and United.com accounts for USD $6. Groupon.com accounts fetch $5, while $4 buys hacked credentials at registrar and hosting providerGodaddy.com, as well as wireless providers att.com, Sprint.com, Verizonwireless.com, and Tmobile.com. Active accounts at Facebook and Twitter retail for just $2.50 apiece.” (https://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/06/the-value-of-a-hacked-email-account/)
You Can’t Afford To Be Cavalier Even If You Don’t Do Business Online
Petretis points out that no one can afford to be cavalier, even those who consider themselves old fashioned and refrain from conducting any business online. He attempts to erode their confidence by revealing more info from krebsonsecurity.com. “Even if your email isn’t tied to online merchants, it is probably connected to other accounts you care about. Hacked email accounts are not only used to blast junk messages: They are harvested for the email addresses of your contacts. Those contacts can then be inundated with malware spam and phishing attacks. Those same contacts may even receive a message claiming you are stranded, penniless in a foreign country.”
The entire article can be read at: https://voras-consulting.com/how-much-is-an-email-account-worth-to-cyber-criminals/
Paulius Petretis is an Information security expert, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM®), Certified Information System Auditor (CISA®), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT(CGEIT®) and Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC®), Guest speaker at various conferences and seminars, Trainer at information security related training courses.
According to the annual survey initiated by the Info Security Europe, a whopping 93% of large organizations and 76% of small businesses had at least a single information security breach in 2011. Only 18% of the organizations affected by the infringements related to data protection laws had a consistent and effective contingency plan in place. According to Paulius, information is not something static – it evolves and mutates every day. It is the ecosystem of every business and if a single cell fails, it can bring down the entire business.
Therefore ensuring a consistent and up-to-date information protection policy must be the priority for all businesses – no matter how big or small they are. As it might be unrealistic to believe that any young or experienced entrepreneur can be the jack of all trades, the really smart decision is to rely on specialists who dedicate their professional lives to getting to know everything there is to know about protecting important business information.
With more than 16 years of experience in helping people, small businesses, and government organizations to protect their business secrets, Paulius believes that information security must help businesses achieve goals but not vice versa.