14:39 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Access Key to Infrastructure Data Sold to Highest Bidder on Dark Web

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    The “dark web” puts a price on a lot of black market activities, including heroin, electronic health records and assassinations. According to a new report, access to some of the most sensitive cyber networks related to infrastructure can now be added to that list.

    The government, health systems and hospitals, energy companies and airliners have networks that can be accessed for a fee payable in Bitcoin, private intelligence firm Black Ops Cyber, which describes itself as "the world’s largest private sector CyberHUMINT Counter-Terrorism (CT) Team" providing reports to "CT agencies worldwide."

    The ‘HUMINT’ moniker is frequently used as an abbreviation for human intelligence gathered through personal contact.

    A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017
    © REUTERS / Kacper Pempel/Illustration

    Access keys are available on a forum dubbed Criminal Market, the firm says, as reported by the Epoch Times. One of the biggest suppliers is a member of to the Communist Party of China and currently works in the Chinese government, the cybersecurity firm said. Databases maintained by NATO and the German Defense Ministry may have been compromised based on chat logs viewed by Black Ops Cyber.

    The keys being sold would allow hackers into Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, a type of computer and communications architecture commonly used to monitor and control power plants – including nuclear plants – railways, electrical grids and other critical infrastructure, the International Business Times reports. SCADA system access can be acquired for as little as three to seven bitcoins (roughly $12,000 — $28,000).

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    Hack, dark web, NATO, China
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