Investigation into black market prices for stolen online banking data
The returns are clearly enormous – criminals are charged $700 for access details for one bank account with a guaranteed balance of $82,000. According to a report from anti-virus vendor Panda Security, less creditworthy accounts can be picked up for just $80.
Panda reports that it infiltrated a criminal network for trading stolen data and hawking services. The vendor explored a total of 50 such online forums and shops, discovering many interesting prices. Costs for credit card details, for example, range from $2 to $90, depending on the card's credit limit.
Criminals interested in a bit more than just online shopping can also get physical credit cards made up. The cost? About $30 for a single colour card or a less suspicious full colour card for $90, plus the cost of the credit card details.
Users who are too timid to use their stolen data to do their online shopping themselves can use a transaction service for between $30 and $300. According to Panda, to purchase a television from a stooge using stolen data and get it sent to your own address will set you back $100.
The shops also offer accessories for card skimmers – card cloners for attaching to Diebold and NCR ATMs cost around €3,000. A complete fake ATM, for erection in a popular shopping centre for example, can be yours for just $35,000.
According to Panda, criminal online shops operate just like normal online shops. As well as a price list, they include special offers, bulk discounts, try and buy offers and individual services for which a quote can be provided. Exchanges and returns are also apparently possible. Where the transactions do differ from the norm is in the payment process, The criminals don't take plastic, instead relying on money transfer services such as Western Union, Liberty Reserve and WebMoney.
The online mafia can be contacted via IM or social media. Germany's carders.cc underground forum, the subject of multiple hacks in the past, has its own Twitter account and even has a fan page on Facebook.