While the obvious answer may be “use it to purchase whatever they want,” we are forgetting another route cyber-thieves can take: selling that stolen data to others.
Researchers over at Webroot have stumbled upon an online store that appears to be focused solely on selling stolen credit card information to anyone that’s willing to take the risk.
According to Webroot’s Dancho Danchev, the site appears to be well put together for the most part, complete with a “well-developed” search engine that helps fraudsters find exactly what they’re looking for.
“The service is currently offering 9,132 stolen credit cards for sale, and has already managed to sell 3292 credit cards to prospective cybercriminals.” Danchev revealed in a blog post on Monday.
Fees for card information vary depending on the card type: Debit cards go for just $16 while credit cards fetch $30 or more. Discounts are promised to those that purchase the data in bulk.
Fraudsters appear to be satisfied with the sales price and have already snatched up the information for 3,292 cards.
As to why the e-store owner opted to sell the stolen data opposed to use it, Danchev says that answer is surprisingly simple. “The practice is called “risk forwarding” which intersects with the e-shop owner’s desire to achieve instant financial liquidity of his assets, “ Danchev explained. “Instead of manually verifying the balance of the cards, he’s focused on bulk orders and forwarding the risk of getting caught to the prospective customers of his services.”
Photo Credit: 401(k)2012