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Photo Illustration: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Hacking guides for sale on criminal markets are cheap, plentiful and often only a decade out of date, according to a new report from intelligence firm Terbium Labs.

The big picture: The guides, often sold as giant caches of manuals, are often padded with irrelevant material (one included ''Cabinetry for Dummies," said Terbium VP of Research Emily Wilson), and plagiarism runs rampant. But if you power through the scams and thievery by the vendors, there's plenty of good information on scams and thievery for would-be hackers.

By the numbers:

  • Only 5% of the 44,000 individual documents Terbium purchased came from 2018 or later. More than 25% were a decade old, with the bundled documents including a range of files from the 1990s and around 1,000 copies of the same transcription of "The Anarchist's Cookbook."
  • Less than a quarter of the files for sale were unique.
  • But at an average cost of $0.01 cent per file, nascent fraudsters could afford to be taken for a few rides as long as they find an occasional gem.

Details: "When the guides were current, the techniques would be effective," said Wilson.

  • The study looked at both multipacks of guides, which averaged $12.99, and individual files, averaging $3.88 a piece. Cost, said Wilson, was not indicative of quality.
  • The quality varied wildly, from short snippets of information to a thorough 40-page guide on doxing.
  • Documents sold from multiple vendors contained admonishments not to resell the work. "Oops," said Wilson.

The danger: "One of the things that make these guides dangerous is that they are recipes for digital crime sold alongside the ingredients," said Wilson.

  • Don't know where to buy an important component of your scam? Many of the guides contain vendor referrals.
  • Packages sometimes included files beyond manuals, like fonts to use in phishing scams.

Go deeper

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran's new president takes power

Iranian negotiatorAbbas Araghchi arrives at the Grand Hotel Wien for the nuclear talks. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios.

Key quote: The official said it would be "concerning" if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran's transition is due to take place. "If we don't have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it's going to be," the official said.