Hacked Facebook Accounts Were Being Sold For Cryptocurrency Via the Dark Web

  • Hacked Facebook accounts were on sale for cryptocurrency via the dark web.
  • The compromised social media accounts and sensitive user data obtained are valued in the range of $150 million to $600 million.

Recently hacked Facebook accounts were reportedly being sold via the dark web for only around $3 to $12, according to The Independent. Users looking to purchase these compromised social media accounts were able to pay for them with cryptocurrency.

This news has come shortly after a large-scale security breach (last month) during which the private information of about 50 million Facebook users was obtained. Hackers had reportedly been able to exploit a vulnerability that allowed them to gain access to and steal users’ “access tokens.”

These tokens are like digital keys that allow Facebook users to access their accounts as they help verify and authenticate login credentials. Additionally, these “access tokens” contain other sensitive user data.

Hacked Accounts On Sale For Cryptocurrency

At the time of the security breach, Facebook said there was no evidence that the compromised accounts had actually been used by the hackers. However, as mentioned, these accounts were being sold through a dark web marketplace called Dream Market, in exchange for bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), monero (XMR), among other cryptocurrencies.

The Dream Market has some of the same design features as mainstream internet retailers such as Amazon and eBay. For instance, it has a similar rating system and allows buyers to connect with a large pool of established sellers.

Although it now appears that the dark web seller has removed the listing, the value of Facebook’s large number of compromised accounts and sensitive data has been estimated to be between the range of $150 million to $600 million.

Commenting on the hack, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: 

We face constant attacks from people who want to take over accounts or steal information around the world… The reality is we need to continue developing new tools to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Mark Zuckerberg

Bitcoin ATM Malware, Leaked Hotel Data Records

As CryptoGlobe reported in August, a hacker described by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro as “an established and respected” dark web seller had developed a bitcoin ATM (BTM) malware program and had been selling it for $25,000 via secret online forums.

The seller’s listing noted that the BTM malware came with a ready-to-use card which had EMV support (short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa). It also reportedly supported NFC transactions which allows users to make payments from their smartphones. By using the malware, users would have been able to steal up to 6,750 in British pounds (GBP), Euros, or USD - each time they used the exploitative program.

CryptoGlobe also reported in late August that 130 million leaked hotel data records were being sold for bitcoin (BTC) via China’s dark web. The hacker had managed to steal the large amount of private user data from the Huazhu Hotel Group, one of the largest Chinese hotel management companies.

Kraken OTC Head Says It’s Too Early to Call Bitcoin a 'Safe Haven' Asset

Michael LaVere
  • Kraken head of OTC trading Nelson Minier says it's too early to call bitcoin a "safe haven" asset.
  • Compares the current atmosphere of crypto trading to how Wall Street used to be. 

Nelson Minier, head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading at crypto exchange Kraken, says that it is too early to call bitcoin a “safe haven” asset, despite the cryptocurrency gaining popularity in that regard. 

Too Early for Save Haven Status

In an interview with Nasdaq TradeTalks, Minier compared the current state of bitcoin and crypto-assets trading to how Wall Street used to operate in the past. 

According to Minier, 

Wall Street ain't what it used to be. The first 15 years I was on Wall Street, it was fun. I was very fortunate. I started in the CDS market which feels a lot like crypto. Here you have a lot of financial innovation, a lot of trading. It feels very much like that...there's a lot of energy and enthusiasm about this progress and where it's going.

Bitcoin has been gaining popularity as a so-called “safe haven” asset. According to the growing belief among analysts and investors, BTC is an attractive alternative to fiat and the traditional stock markets as a hedge against economic downturn. 

However, Minier believes it’s too early to label bitcoin as a safe haven, given the high price volatility. 

He continued, 

So, I’m not so sure that it’s a safe haven asset yet, but I do think that it’s starting to act like one. I think that people are starting to portfolio manage, are starting to come in slowly. And when the market is getting shaky you saw Bitcoin rise, I mean, you wouldn’t see that before, it was trading like a risky asset.

Despite calling bitcoin's safe haven status premature, Minier admitted that “we're heading that way for sure.”