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Attack services and databases of personal details are widely available online

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Millions of personal details and attack services are available via a simple online search.

Speaking to SC Magazine, Raj Samani, EMEA CTO at McAfee, said that a simple search for DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack services or ‘credit card numbers for sale' will give results on the first page, while personal details are also available on online auction websites.

He said: “This shows how easy they are to find and how anyone can do it cheaply. Of the personal details on online auction websites, are you happy knowing that your details could be among them?”

According to new research by McAfee, a million email addresses can be bought for £321.66 or ten million for £569.19. The research also highlighted the huge scale of ‘crimeware-as-a-service', where tools are created and used to conceal malware from security protection mechanisms.

Samani said: “The cyber crime market now affords potential criminals with a multitude of services that means that deep technical expertise is not a prerequisite.

“We are witnessing the emergence of a whole new breed of cyber criminal. As a result, the volume of cyber attacks is likely to increase, and current trends and data suggest that this is exactly what we are seeing today.”

Troels Oerting, head of the EC3 European Cybercrime Centre, said: “Today's cyber criminals do not necessarily require considerable technical expertise to get the job done, nor, in certain cases, do they even need to own a computer. All they need is a credit card.

“A marketplace offering cyber crime tools and services provides would-be criminals with an arsenal that can either be used as a component of a cyber attack or a handy way of outsourcing the process entirely.

“This underground marketplace is enabling an army of cyber criminals - and the cost is being borne by all citizens. Indeed, the ease with which such tools are available enables cyber criminals to target not only citizens, but also businesses and governments at a rapidly growing rate.”

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