Would that all cyber crimes presented such a tidy spreadsheet of the victim and perpetrator data as neatly as does profsoyuz.biz, one of the longest-running criminal reshipping programs on the Internet.
Launched in 2006 under a slightly different domain name, Profsoyuz is a business marketed on invite-only cybercriminal forums to help credit card thieves “cash out” compromised accounts by purchasing and selling merchandise online. Most Western businesses will not ship to Russia and Eastern Europe due to high fraud rates in those areas, so businesses like Profsoyuz hire Americans to receive stolen merchandise and reship it to those embargoed regions.
The IT director for an international hedge fund received the bad news in a phone call from a stranger: Chinese hackers were running amok on the fund’s network. Not seeing evidence of the claimed intrusion, and unsure of the credibility of the caller, the IT director fired off an email to a reporter.
“So do you think this is legit, or is the guy trying to scare us?” the IT director asked in an email to KrebsOnSecurity.com, agreeing to discuss the incident if he and his company were not named. “He has sent me the logs for the connections to the infected server. I checked the firewall and am not seeing any active connections.”
The data breach disclosed in March by security firm RSA received worldwide attention because it highlighted the challenges that organizations face in detecting and blocking intrusions from targeted cyber attacks. What’s more, the subtext of the intrusion was that if this could happen to one of the largest security firms, what hope was there for organizations that aren’t focused on security?
Security experts have said that RSA wasn’t the only corporation victimized in the attack, and that dozens of other multinational companies were infiltrated using many of the same tools and Internet infrastructure. But so far, no one has been willing to say publicly which additional companies may have been hit. Today’s post features a never-before-published list of those victim organizations. The information suggests that more than 760 other organizations had networks that were compromised with some of the same resources used to hit RSA. Almost 20 percent of the current Fortune 100 companies are on this list.
Oracle Corp. released a critical update to plug at least 20 security holes in versions of its ubiquitous Java software. Nearly all of the Java vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely to compromise vulnerable systems with little or no help from users.
If you use Java, take some time to update the program now. According to a report released this month by Microsoft, the most commonly observed exploits in the first half of 2011 were those targeting Java flaws. The report also notes that Java exploits were responsible for between one-third and one-half of all exploits observed in each of the four most recent quarters.
Make enough contacts in the Internet security community and you will probably learn that many of the folks involved in defending computers and networks against criminals got started in security by engaging in online illegal activity of one sort or another. These personal shifts are sometimes motivated by ethical and personal safety reasons, but just as often grey- and black hat hackers gravitate toward the defensive side simply because it is more intellectually challenging.
Almost a year ago, I wrote about ATM skimmers made of parts cannibalized from old MP3 players. Since then, I’ve noticed quite a few more ads for these MP3-powered skimmers in the criminal underground, perhaps because audio skimmers allow fraudsters to sell lucrative service contracts along with their theft devices.
Using audio to capture credit and debit card data is not a new technique, but it is becoming vogue: Square, an increasingly popular credit card reader built for the iPhone, works by plugging into the headphone jack on the iPhone and converting credit card data stored on the card into audio files.
Last week, authorities in New York indicted more than 100 people suspected of being part of a crime ring that used forged credit cards to buy and resell an estimated $13 million worth of Apple products and other electronics overseas.… Read More »
Microsoft and Apple today released security updates to fix a slew of critical security problems in their software. Microsoft’s patch batch fixes at least 23 vulnerabilities in Windows and other Microsoft products. Apple’s update addresses more than 75 security flaws in the Windows versions of iTunes.
Buying a car or making any other expensive purchase can be a hassle. And when it’s necessary to finance a purchase, there’s one more hurdle. If you want merchant financing, you’ll often be required to fill out a credit application… Read More »
Compromised PayPal accounts are a valuable commodity in the criminal underground, and crooks frequently trade them in shadowy online forums. But it wasn’t until recently that I finally encountered a proper Web site dedicated to selling hacked PayPal accounts.
Many of the PayPal accounts for sale at iProfit.su have a zero balance, but according to the proprietor of this shop these are all “verified.” PayPal “verifies” an account when a customer agrees to attach a bank account to it; PayPal then sends a micropayment the bank account, and asks the user the value of that mini deposit. A bonus feather: all the hacked PayPal profiles currently for sale at iProfit.su are advertised as having a credit card attached to them, which is another way PayPal accounts can be verified.
The creator of iProfit.su also advertises private, bulk sales of unverified PayPal accounts; currently he is selling these at $50 per 100 accounts – a bargain at only 50 cents apiece.