Hackers Prefer Twitter Accounts Over Credit Cards: Report

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    Twitter accounts are more valuable to scammers than credit card information, according to a new report released by the RAND Corporation. Terry McSweeney reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014)

    Twitter accounts are more valuable to scammers than credit card information, according to a new report released by the RAND Corporation.

    The RAND report, sponsored by Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, said hackers prefer Twitter accounts because people often use the same password for multiple accounts.

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    "The banks lock down the accounts when they see unusual activity," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group. "The Twitter accounts are not being monitored at all so you take a Twitter account and you get a couple days with it before they get locked down."

    Twitter accounts are valued at between $16 and $325 per listing depending on the network size and ease of access to accounts on other social channels, according to the report.

    The difference, including the difficulty of the theft, is the yield, according to reports. As in, one hacked Twitter account can lead to ten more rather easily.

    For example, after the data of retail giant Target was breached in December 2013, consumer records -- which fetched between $20 and $135, according to Znet.com -- traded for as little as $0.75 because the black market was flooded with stolen credit card information.

    News of the report was met with a surprise on the streets of San Jose Wednesday night.

    "I'm a lot less careful about Twitter," said Sharon Russell, who was visiting town from Los Angeles. "I tweet in public, but don't bank or do any secure issues in a public wireless position."

    Officials said to protect yourself from hackers users should not post anything too personal, have a strong password and use two passwords for verification when available.