The UK’s fight on terror just got a little bit harder with what the University of East London found during an investigation. Forged documents like passports, driver’s licenses, and utility bills were found for sale on dark net. Researchers believe this will make it easier for terrorists to enter the country. The University’s study revealed how easy it is to get these documents.
The UK Security Services announced that they will be recruiting hundreds more staff to deal with the increasing threat that comes with the advancement of digital technology.
The report is called Mining the Dark Web: Drugs and Fake ID’s; by Dr. Andres Baravalle, Dr. Sin Lee Wee, and Mr. Mauro Sanchez Lopez. This report precedes the Europol’s published report; Changes in modus operandi of Islamic State terrorist attacks, which highlighted the increase of digital resources the IS.
“There is evidence of a level of technical knowledge available to religiously inspired terrorist groups, allowing them to make their use of the internet and social media invisible to intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” the Europol’s report reads.
The level of ease at which shoppers were able to pick up these documents were described by researchers as scary.
“It’s so easy to get a username and start buying,” Dr. Lee stated; after months of lurking on long dead Agora Marketplace.
Dr. Baravalle said:
“A teenage computer enthusiastic, for example, would be able to find themselves in touch with organized criminals very easily. During our research, 84 scans and photos of passports were on sale, with 12 physical passports also being offered.”
The report shows that most of the scans are selling for just seven Euros. They also found drugs and weapons just as easily accessible.
“A physical UK passport can be bought as cheaply as 752 Euros, while scanned passports can be purchased for as little as seven. They can be bought in bulk, with a wide range of countries to choose from,” Baravalle continued.
These reports follow the giant security breach at Yahoo, which led to the discovery of over 500 million user accounts being compromised. Yahoo blames a state-sponsored hacking group for stealing the 500 million accounts in 2014. Of course, the hacked Yahoo accounts are up for sale on dark net.
At first, Yahoo was investigating the hack of 200 million users. During that investigation, it was found to be 300 million more than what they had originally expected. Yahoo has stated that enough user credentials were stolen to allow hackers to create fake identities.