As we mentioned in our recent Predictions for 2016, it’s likely that account takeover attacks (ATO) will skyrocket this year as result of the many data breaches we witnessed in 2015. Cybercriminals put the work into stealing your data, now it’s time to put that data to work for them.

ATO attacks fuel the underground fraud-as-a-service economy with compromised accounts, which are sold or exchanged for a variety of downstream attacks. Since these accounts are created by real users (unlike mass-registered fake accounts), they often contain valuable information such as financial data, and their activities are less likely to raise the suspicion of security solutions. This makes ATO a very lucrative business for cybercriminals. A recent report showed that compromised accounts are worth upward of $3 each on the underground market. That’s more than 17 times the price of a stolen credit card number, which is only 22 cents.

We recently contributed a post for Dark Reading describing some ATO attacks DataVisor has witnessed in the wild and how organized crime rings are performing account takeover at scale. To read more about how these attacks are conducted, the financial impact, and more, check out: