Darknet Email Hacking: Hackers Sold Massive CEO & CFO Passwords


An alleged hacker has been selling Microsoft email account passwords of hundreds of high-level executives from a considerable number of companies on the dark web under the darknet email hacking scheme. The accounts are priced somewhere between $100 and $1,500 per account accounting to nearly 7,400-Rs 1.1 lakh, as mentioned by a news outlet report.

As per the report, “the data is being sold on a closed-access underground forum for Russian-speaking hackers named Exploit.in.”

The report has also suggested that the hacker is involved in selling a combination of email and password for Microsoft accounts and Office 365 of the C-level executives that he had acquired via darknet email hacking. The selling price of the accounts had been set based on the company size and as well as the role of the executive in his company. 

The victims of the darknet email hacking are top-level executives such as: 

  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Marketing Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Technology Officers
  • Vice Presidents
  • Presidents
  • Company Directors

As per the report, “a source in the cyber-security community who agreed to contact the seller to obtain samples has confirmed the validity of the data and obtained valid credentials for two accounts, the CEO of a US medium-sized software company and the CFO of an EU-based retail store chain.”

“The seller refused to share how he obtained the login credentials but said he had hundreds more to sell,” it added.

The Threat Intelligence Firm named KELA had provided data on the darknet email hacking that states the same hacker had earlier expressed his interest in purchasing the “Azor logs”. Azor log is a term that refers to the collected data from the AzorUlt info-stealer trojan infected computers.

Image: Knowbe4

“Compromised corporate email accounts are goldmines for cybercriminals as they can be monetised in many different ways,” KELA Product Manager Raveed Laeb has quoted as saying.

It has been assumed that the compromised emails owned from darknet email hacking can be utilised for the CEO scams, which is also known as the Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams. These scams are on the rise worldwide.

Trend Micro, the global cybersecurity firm has recently mentioned that it has blocked 438 million email-borne cyber threats in just the first half of the year, representing the third-highest number in Asia. From the second half of 2019, BEC detections have increased by 18 per cent. The scammers are also trying to capitalise on the home workers, and they are more exposed to social engineering. 

Owing to the BEC attack, the educational institutions are twice as more vulnerable than the average organisations, as the leading provider of the cloud-enabled security solutions named Barracuda Networks had lately reported.

By utilising the BEC form of cyberattack, the threat actors have victimised the schools and resulted in devastating losses. Over a thousand schools, colleges and universities have been affected between June and September, mentions a report that had been released earlier this month.

Source: The Statesman

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