An Israeli cybersecurity company has found a website selling credit card information on some 3 million people, including 11,532 people signed up with Japanese card firms, its CEO told Kyodo News.
The cyber intelligence firm, Terrogence, succeeded in accessing one of the so-called Darknets, or closed networks typically used for illegal activities such as selling drugs or child pornography.
Shai Arbel, chief executive officer of the Netanya-based company, said the data are highly likely to have been hacked in cyberattacks on companies that have people's credit card information.
There is also a possibility that the information was stolen from computers infected with a virus, he said.
The former intelligence unit member of the Israel Defense Forces also said the company confirmed the existence of other Darknets where buying and selling of personal information takes place and warned that the card information could be used for illegal purposes.
Terrogence collects and analyzes information from the Internet about arms trading or terrorism, providing the information and analysis to intelligence agencies of various countries. Information on credit cards is also offered to financial institutions.
As access to Darknets is restricted, Terrogence registered multiple fictitious people on social networking sites before contacting the network's operator, Arbel said.
After gaining the trust of the administrator through text exchanges, the operator granted access, he added.
The site in question showed credit card numbers, names and expiry dates and sold the data for about $2 and $3 per person.
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