A new iFrame traffic service opened for business to service cybercriminals came from an underground operator who apparently wished to provide his fraudster-buyers with an easy online platform through which they could buy or sell web traffic. Evidently, when used in the context of fraud, one can expect to see junk traffic leading to exploit kit infections, Trojan drive-by download sites, and live phishing pages.
The constant hustle and bustle of underground fraudster markets is a bountiful source for any and all types of fraud commodities and partnerships formed between seemingly anonymous criminals in the virtual world. And yet, one very prominent vertical, if we may, stands far out from the rest—credit card shops and just about everything that has [...]
Around this time last year you may have read my SecurityWeek article, The Optimist’s Cybercrime Predictions for 2011. Now that the year is drawing to an end, I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to look back to my 2011 predictions and see how each of them panned out.
Looking to maximize their profits, fraudsters need to do a whole lot of learning. They can either learn techniques of areas they have not focused on thus far, learn better techniques in the field they already specialize in, or learn new cover stories to improve the techniques they already use. A lot of this learning is done through trial and error. That’s how fraudsters discover vulnerabilities in banks’ processes that allow them to cash out a lot of money with relatively little effort.
So Cyber Monday has arrived, and tens of millions of consumers will be hitting the cyber waves to shop for the best holiday deals around. Most of them will be doing it on company time (myself included, I admit), but hey, my son really wants that video game and I can save 50% today only. But while Cyber Monday is packed with unbelievable deals for holiday shoppers, it is also a time when consumers need to take notice to ensure they don’t fall victim to fraud, and retailers and banks need to be on guard.
In the short time I’ve been blogging, I’ve written relatively often about automated CC stores. These websites offer fraudsters an automatic way of buying stolen credit cards – simply fund an account with e-currency, choose which type of card you would like, pay and receive the full credential. Their popularity has reached such a fever pitch. Recently, we’ve encountered a new development in the underground in regards to these sites – forums opening “official” stores.
Whenever we present about the underground and mention that fraudsters often post compromised credit cards for free we often get the question “Why would they do that?” Considering that unlike the hacker communities of years past, the underground economy is all about the money (and not bragging rights), this is a very legitimate question. After all, if the fraudsters’ goal is to maximize profit, why would they give away stuff they can otherwise sell? The answer is pretty straightforward.
The RSA Research Lab investigates and monitors a large number of malicious cybercrime servers operating in the wild. The tool of choice this time – Zeus v184.108.40.206, the most advanced variant of Zeus to date. The end result: endless logs of compromised financial data and untold numbers of wire-fraud transactions.
Since the Zeus source code was leaked, one of the predictions security researchers were convinced of was that independent code writers, wishing to enter cybercrime coder’s world, would be glad to do it by using a ready-made baseline. One such code to have surfaced in underground and hacking forums soon after the code leak was Trojan Ice IX. But is it all what it is cracked up to be?
Mitigating fraud isn’t just about identifying patterns of fraudulent transactions and the on-going work of identifying compromised merchants. Mitigating fraud is also about identifying the weakest links which fraudsters can exploit and making the necessary changes to plug those holes.