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The Dark Web – Is Your Company’s Data Up For Sale?

The Dark Web is part of the world wide web that cannot be accessed using your regular web browser. The people who operate on it are buying and selling just about anything, and not much of it is legal. Ironically it is a marketplace where they feel safe offering to commit crimes or sell the proceeds. It may well be your data that is being bought and sold.

If cybercriminals have hacked your corporate network, the chances are that the information pulled from your servers, if it is perceived to have value, is up for sale to anyone who wants to buy it. What information might nefarious people want to buy? How about passwords so that people can access your network and find important documents, financials, or credit card details.

Decades ago, it was not uncommon for people to break into business premises to steal data, perhaps to look at proposals for huge contracts.

Today, it is not necessary to put on a balaclava and sneak into an office. People have the skillset and technology to access the information that ‘customers’ want. They will sell access to a company’s network, often for a hefty fee.

As in the real world of business, some people hack into systems and collect data. They often sell access to this data to other people. You might think of them as brokers. Others might do work like sabotage a network for a fee, for a ‘client’ who wants to damage that company, or perhaps to earn a ransom by locking down the computer network so that it can’t be accessed until they have paid a ransom.

Ransom attacks are becoming common today and have proven successful in a variety of businesses including banking, airlines, law firms, and hospitals, where the victims have paid to get their systems back up and running, because of the potential consequences of their systems being down.

It has been reported that in 2019 businesses and the public sector in New Zealand paid at least $41 million in ransom and had downtime costing close to $300 million. There will be many attacks that have gone unreported.

Often companies do not know they have been attacked, until long after the event. Consequently, they also do not know that their information is either being used illegally or offered for sale.

Advantage can check your IT infrastructure to see if it has been infected by malware, which allows hackers to access the information on your network. They also have tools which enable them to identify whether information from your servers is for sale on the Dark Web. It would be prudent for companies to consider using this service from time to time, especially those in business and government sectors that are at risk.

Steve Smith, Regional Executive at Advantage, offers “We have provided this service for many large clients, who have been horrified with not only that their data was for sale on the Dark Web. They were also shocked at how quickly we were able to find it. Having found this evidence, we are better able to help companies protect themselves from further attacks.”

“Accessing the Dark Web is not something you should do without experience and the proper protections in place,” says Smith. “This is best left for security experts.

About Advantage

“Advantage has over 35 years of experience in the New Zealand IT market, providing enterprise-class solutions across almost all market segments including government, medical, retail, financial and legal,” says Regional Sales Executive, Steve Smith. “We are a technology-driven organisation that focuses on a true partnership with our clients – their success is intrinsically linked to ours.”

“To achieve this goal in today’s IT landscape, we maintain a level of flexibility and agility that few providers can rival. Our focus is on building scalable and secure solutions for customers that rely on highly connected IT services. Everything we do is secure by design and generally incorporates one or more of our security services which are often no longer optional in today’s environment. All services that we provide can be fully managed, customer-managed, or jointly managed, based on the customer’s requirements and internal resources.

For more information on Advantage, visit: or go to LinkedIn.

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