VMware Carbon Black’s recent research into various marketplaces on the dark web found W-2 forms, 1040 forms and how-to guides for illicitly cashing out tax returns available. W-2s and 1040s are available on the dark web at relatively low cost, ranging from $1.04 to $52. Names, Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and birthdates can be obtained for a price ranging from $0.19 to $62.
The research also found that various tax identity theft products and services on the dark web are becoming cheaper; sellers are working hard to differentiate themselves and their products; and new products are being developed to meet identity thieves’ demands, forming a living, breathing economy built to empower even entry-level hackers.
This evolution in tax fraud and tax identity theft is congruent to various dark web economies, including ransomware, as VMware Carbon Black outlined in a 2017 report, further suggesting that attackers are constantly evolving their behaviors to “follow the money.” This report highlights some of the offerings available on the robust dark web economy of scale.