Hackers could be stealing your Netflix account and selling it on the Dark Web for pennies on the dollar, and you might not even know it.

It’s common for people to share their Netflix passwords with family and friends for free. Nevertheless, the individual sharing the account still gets the bill at the end of the month. Some people, however, are purchasing lifetime subscriptions to Netflix from hackers for less than $1 – and they could be using your account.

According to a report by Tech Insider, selling credentials for popular streaming services like Netflix is common practice on the Dark web. Hackers could be selling a lifetime subscription to your Netflix account for $0.50, and you might not even be aware of it.(1)

The Dark Web is a term that refers to websites that are publicly available, but shield the IP addresses of the servers that run them. Any web user can access them, but it’s very difficult to figure out who is responsible for the sites. Furthermore, these sites cannot be found using a search engine.

Lurking behind the Tor encryption tool

Practically all the sites on the Dark Web mask their identify with the Tor encryption tool. You can use Tor to hide your identity and lie about your location. Any website run through Tor has the same effect.(2)

Tor websites are often used to sell drugs, weapons and other illegal products and services. However, they are also used to sell legal and widely accessible services, like Netflix, Spotify and HBO. What is amazing is that an underground market exists for these services, even though they are legal and relatively inexpensive.

“We found pretty much everything possible available for sale,” Raj Samani, the vice president and CTO at Intel Security, told Tech Insider in an interview. “Every possible service and every possible flavor you could think of was being made for sale.”(1)

The reason these services still have a grip in the Dark Web is that a lifetime subscription to Netflix, Spotify or HBO can be purchased for a fraction of the price of a monthly subscription. A lifetime subscription to Spotify, for instance, costs a mere $1.95 on the Dark Web. These accounts are usually based on stolen credit card data and account information.

There is fierce competition between sellers on the Dark Web. Some sellers even promise customers that they’ll have lifetime access to these services, even if there are hiccups in the original account purchased. In other words, the seller will give the customer a new account if the first one is shut down, mostly likely by stealing another account.

“It’s remarkable,” Samani said. “This marketplace actually has its own ‘help desk.’ I don’t want to call it a risk-free transaction but they try to make it as risk free as they possibly can.”(1)

Samani explained in a report last month how accounts that wind up on the Dark Web can create major difficulties for consumers. The account could be shut down because of suspicious activity, and customers could spend hours on the phone with technical support trying to correct the glitch.

Free Market doesn’t dissolve underground market

The report illustrates that legal products and services can still have a presence in the underground market. A product that is legal can be purchased for pennies on the dollar on the Dark Web, though the risks are much higher.

This is why it is important to keep your personal data safe. Make sure to use strong passwords for all your services and two-factor authentication when possible. Two-factor authentication – or 2FA – requires you to have two out of three types of credentials before you are able to access your account.(3)

In the event that you see someone creating extra profiles on your Netflix account, be sure to delete your original account and credit card information, and sign up for a new one using alternative information. With these safety measures in hand, you can safely stay ahead of the Dark Web.

Sources include:

(1) TechInsider.io

(2) PCAdvisor.co.uk

(3) CNet.com

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