Russia Takes Down 4 Carding Sites with Crypto Turnover of $260 Million

Some major websites have been blocked by the law enforcement on Russia on the dark web, which include a carding market leader. These platforms were seized during the ongoing investigations of the Russian authorities into hacking groups, as they have recently ramped up their efforts of dismantling the cybercrime rings as well as detaining their members. The Russian Federation’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), has taken down four prominent websites that were operating on the dark web. This was revealed by Elliptic, a blockchain forensics firm. Directorate ‘K’ is the name of the MVD unit, which is dedicated to combating computer-related crimes and it is behind the site blocking.

The platforms that were seized are Ferum Shop, UAS Store, Trump’s Dumps and Sky-Fraud forum. These had become the leading market for credit cards that are stolen, after Unicc, which was the largest marketplace for this niche, had been taken down back in January. The report from Elliptic has estimated that the websites had been able to collect a whopping $263 million in crypto turnover that was denominated in bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC) and ether (ETH), before they had been shut down. The bulk of this amount went to Ferum, as its share of the carding market is about 17%, and its crypto sales were around $253 million.

Another website that distributed data of compromised cards was Trump’s Dumps and since it was launched in 2017, it had managed to generate about $4.1 million. Advertisement for both of these websites could be found on the Sky-Fraud forum, where the main topics include money laundering tips and carding techniques. Apparently, Directorate ‘K’ has left a message in the source code that reads ‘Which one of you is next?’ UAS Store is the fourth website to be blocked and this platform was offering people stolen credentials of remote desktop protocols.

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These can be used by cybercriminals for using their own devices to gain access to the victims’ accounts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive surge in these breaches, as there is a greater number of employees working from home. UAS Store has managed to generate about $3 million in crypto form since late 2017. According to Elliptic, back in mid-January, Unicc, the top carding marketplace, along with Luxsocks, which is its affiliate proxy market, had become inaccessible. The latest seizures had been executed after the previous one.

In addition, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had also arrested the suspected administrator of Unicc. According to researchers, the cryptocurrency sales of the two platforms are in excess of $372 million. Meanwhile, the MVD has reached out to a court in Moscow to arrest six unidentified hackers, who have been accused of illegally circulating means of payment. It is not clear as yet if this group is connected in any way to the websites that were taken down from the dark web. Last month, the MVD and FSB had detained 14 people who were suspected of being members of the ransomware group Revil, on the request of the United States.

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