Many sites and services require customers to present “proof” of their identity online by producing scanned copies of important documents, such as passports, utility bills, or diplomas. But these requests don’t really prove much, as there are a number of online services that will happily forge these documents quite convincingly for a small fee.
Services like scanlab.name, for example, advertise the ability to create a variety of forged documents made to look like scanned copies of things like credit cards, passports, drivers licenses, utility bills, birth/death/marriage certificates and diplomas. In fact, Scanlab boasts that it has a large database of templates — 17 gb worth from more than 120 countries — which it can draw upon to forge scanned copies of just about any document you might need.
When Scanlab site first surfaced in 2008, it was a fairly bustling place and had a decent number of clients. That is, until not long after I wrote about them in August 2008, when the site just vanished for some reason. The service reappeared this summer, but it’s tough to tell whether Scanlab 2.0 attracts much business. Maybe that’s why they’re now running Flash banner ads like the one below, which was taken from a popular underground hacker forum.
Scanlab created this scan of a fake Missouri drivers license — shown here with the picture and made-up personal details of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange — using a photo from Google images, so the quality could certainly be better. But it’s probably enough to pass for a scan of a real ID for most online services that might ask for one as proof of identity.
Scanlab is definitely targeting a very specific type of clientele. This ad invokes the names of two of the most famous “carders,” individuals engaged in theft and sale of stolen credit cards and identity documents: Vladislav Anatolievich Horohorin, 27 — mentioned in this ad by his nickname “BadB”; and Dmitry Golubov, a carding forum administrator who later started his own political party in Ukraine.
And, like most online services that cater to carders, this one does not accept credit cards: Payments are made through WebMoney, a virtual currency popular in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Have you seen:
Body Armor for Bad Web Sites…Hacked and malicious sites designed to steal data from unsuspecting users via malware and phishing are a dime a dozen, often located in the United States, and are a key target for takedown by ISPs and security researchers. But when online miscreants seek stability in their Web projects, they often turn to so-called “bulletproof hosting” providers, mini-ISPs that specialize in offering services that are largely immune from takedown requests and pressure from Western law enforcement agencies.