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What Hackers Can Earn for Stolen Information

Hackers attack hospitals and medical centers because often their security systems are outdated.

| BY Kent McDill

Seemingly every day, there is a new report about hackers getting into the customer accounts of retailers and banking institutions, stealing personal information from customers who were required to offer up social security numbers, mother’s maiden names and birthdates.

But how much do hackers get when they sell that information to other nefarious outlets?

With the proliferation of hacking and hackers, the sale price for stolen credit card information has dropped, going for just pennies. A valid social security number can be sold for approximately $1, according to security firm RSA.

But medical data can go for up to $50 in an inclusive package of information on one person.

Bank account information can sell for $1,000; 500,000 email addresses can sell for $50. Computer hacking services such as denial of service can sell for as little as $7 an hour, a price that drops because there are so many people in the marketplace. A full-scale attack on a website in an attempt to cull information can run you $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the information being chased.

“Hackers understand they don't have to work too hard to attack a certain target," said Daniel Cohen of RSA’s Online Threats Managed Services Group. "We have seen this rise of what we call 'cybercrime as a service.' Everything from bulk credit card data to DDOS attacks are available to you as a service. It's a very, very mature market."

Hackers can sell medical data for far more than they get when they offer up credit card information, because the medical data can be used to fraudulently receive medical services or send fraudulent bills that get paid because consumers don’t pay enough attention to who is billing them and what they are being billed for.

According to a report by Yahoo! News, hospitals and medical facilities are being targeted increasingly because they are easy to hack and the information is worth 10 times what credit cards can offer to the hackers on the open (although illegal) data market.



About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.