A new report by social media analysts at Whizcase shows that Gmail and LinkedIn accounts are among the most expensive hacked social media and communication accounts for sale on darknet markets. The report is based on data “gathered from the dark web” between Jan. 2022 and Jan. 2023. It includes average account prices for a wide variety of different services listed on darknet markets, as well as average prices for social media engagement services.
Of all social media-focused services analyzed in the report, hacked LinkedIn accounts were by far the most expensive, fetching an average of $45 per account. The next closest was Facebook at $14 per account, with Discord and Instagram tied for third place at $12 an account. Toward the low end was TikTok accounts at $8, followed by Reddit accounts at $6.
Ad for a hacked MLB TV account on Cypher Marketplace, a darknet market.
Communication-focused services were led by hacked Gmail accounts, which cost an average of $45 per account on darknet markets, well above the next closest service, which was WhatsApp, at $18 per account. Zoom accounts were an average of $10, while Skype was $8, followed by Telegram and Signal at $6 per account.
Accounts for entertainment services were among the cheapest of all hacked accounts for sale on the dark web, with the most expensive being Apple Music at an average of $15 and the cheapest being SoundCloud at $6 per account. The report found that for as little as $100, a DNM buyer could purchase access to an annual subscription of nine different streaming services.
A comparison of darknet market prices for hacked accounts for streaming services. Source: AtlasVPN
According to AtlasVPN, steaming accounts are a “valuable target for cybercriminals” as they often contain the user’s name, birth date, contact information (address and/or phone number), as well as linked payment methods which may also be sold separately by hackers.
The last category of account-based darknet market listings analyzed by Whizcase was social media engagement services. They found that per batch of 1000, Twitter retweets were the most expensive at $25, followed by Twitch followers at $12, Instagram likes at $11, Facebook likes at $8 and Instagram followers at $6.