Jan 23 2009

Chinese hackers eye $400 million market

Published by at 7:13 am under China internet,Hacking for money

In the last couple of days we have run a couple of posts on QQ accounts and stealing QQ accounts.  Reader harls commented on the “economy of scale” and asked the question, “I wonder how much a million valid QQ numbers are worth?”  This was the exact same question I asked myself.  So what is the answer?

In 2007, the domestic market for Chinese virtual goods was estimated at $900 million and 45% of that directed at Tencent online products, the owner of QQ.  A QQ coin, which has been described as a possible dual-currency for the number of items it can purchase outside of QQ, is priced at 1 yuan (15 cents).  In 2007, the going rate for selling a QQ coin was at a discount rate of about .8 yuan.  Let’s say that of those million stolen accounts, each one has at least 5 QQ coins.

So the answer: A potential of US $600 thousand (5 million coins X .15 conversion X .8 discount).

These are two great articles I highly recommend on the QQ secondary market and selling methods.

H/T harls who actually made me do the research on this topic.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Chinese hackers eye $400 million market”

  1. cbrp1r8on 23 Jan 2009 at 8:47 am

    high 5 on that one…

    Now you have me wondering how much the offline trader gaming market makes seeings how everyone is into gaming these days..and cyber cafes being big in china….western markets fluctuate daily on the RMT market but they get most of their horses from china.

  2. Heikeon 23 Jan 2009 at 10:21 am

    That is another great question. I’m a firm believer in following the money.

    Unfortunately, I’m very weak in math and economy. The force is not strong in this one.

    My gut feeling is that a comprehensive study of all the cash flows would be very beneficial in devising strategies against cyber crime.