East Cambridgeshire residents targeted by cyber criminals as thousands of pieces of data go on sale on “dark web”

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- Credit: Archant

Hundreds of East Cambridgeshire residents have had their personal details stolen and put up for sale on the “dark web” by criminals.

A search of East Cambs postcodes by due diligence company C6 Intelligence uncovered 7,072 pieces of data made available for sale by criminals, the majority of which were stolen in 2012.

But, the total number of people affected could be much highe, the company says.

The data included 633 e-mail passwords, 498 credit card numbers and 15 account numbers. There were even examples of answers to ‘secret questions’ for sale.

The dark web is an area of the internet hidden from search engines that experts believe is many times greater than the ‘visible’ internet.

Darren Innes, chief executive of C6 Intelligence Group, said the figure could comfortably be increased by 30-40 per cent.

A huge spike in information thefts has been recorded in 2014 and C6 Intelligence Group has said 20 million of the 36 million personal passwords it has uncovered were stolen this year.

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Mr Innes said: “We currently have over 400 million compromised identities on record, but in the last two months we’ve seen an increase of over 5,000pc in the number of compromised identities going up for sale on the dark web daily. From, on average 13,000 a day to about 658,000.”

On average nine pieces of information on each person targeted have been offered up for sale.

Data can be sold for anything from a couple of pence to about £30.

Mr Innes said: “The primary thing that people can do and the most important thing is not have the same email address for more than one account.

“People should regularly change their passwords, never have the same password for more than one account, check bank statements for anything untoward and regularly check our website for free to see if you have been compromised.”

C6 Intelligence Groups offers a free service to check if your details have been compromised at hasmyidenitybeenstolen.com

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