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The total price charged by initial access brokers (IABs) rose to €4 million in the last quarter. For that amount, buyers were able to purchase access to nearly 600 corporate networks.

Security firm KELA presented the stats in a recent research report. The researchers analyzed 110 initial access brokers (IABs) who illegally sold access to 576 compromised corporate networks over the last quarter. The networks netted a total of €4 million. In the second quarter, the combined price only amounted to €664,000.

Most of the access was sold by criminal groups like LockBit, Black Basta, Hive, Alphv (aka BlackCat) and BianLian. Access to the corporate networks of US organizations was particularly popular.

Targeted sectors

In addition to the average selling price of sensitive network access, the study found that most of the access information sold came from US companies. Companies from the United Kingdom were a major target as well.

The most affected business sectors are service, manufacturing and technology. According to KELA, the same sectors are favoured by ransomware attackers, suggesting a clear link between IAB and ransomware activity.

Despite the fact that many large ransomware groups have their own IAB departments and no longer depend on access providers, IABs remain an important link in the chain of cybercrime, KELA said.