In 2021, the exclusive Russian cybercrime forum Mazafaka was hacked. The leaked user database shows one of the forum’s founders was an attorney who advised Russia’s top hackers on the legal risks of their work, and what to do if they got caught. A review of this user’s hacker identities shows that during his time on the forums he served as an officer in the special forces of the GRU, the foreign military intelligence agency of the Russian Federation.
The rapper and social media personality Punchmade Dev is perhaps best known for his flashy videos singing the praises of a cybercrime lifestyle. With memorable hits such as “Internet Swiping” and “Million Dollar Criminal” earning millions of views, Punchmade has leveraged his considerable following to peddle tutorials on how to commit financial crimes online. But until recently, there wasn’t much to support a conclusion that Punchmade was actually doing the cybercrime things he promotes in his songs.
In 2020, the United States brought charges against four men accused of building a bulletproof hosting empire that once dominated the Russian cybercrime industry and supported multiple organized cybercrime groups. All four pleaded guilty to conspiracy and racketeering charges. But there is a fascinating and untold backstory behind the two Russian men involved, who co-ran Russia’s most popular spam forum for years.
Last week, KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that one of the largest cybercrime services for laundering stolen merchandise was hacked recently, exposing its internal operations, finances and organizational structure. In today’s Part II, we’ll examine clues about the real-life identity left behind by “Fearless,” the nickname chosen by the proprietor of the SWAT USA Drops service.
Earlier this week, KrebsOnSecurity revealed that the darknet website for the Snatch ransomware group was leaking data about its users and the crime gang’s internal operations. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Snatch, its alleged founder, and their claims that everyone has confused them with a different, older ransomware group by the same name.
You’ve probably never heard of “16Shop,” but there’s a good chance someone using it has tried to phish you.
Last week, the international police organization INTERPOL said it had shuttered the notorious 16Shop, a popular phishing-as-a-service platform launched in 2017 that made it simple for even complete novices to conduct complex and convincing phishing scams. INTERPOL said authorities in Indonesia arrested the 21-year-old proprietor and one of his alleged facilitators, and that a third suspect was apprehended in Japan.
[This is Part III in a series on research conducted for a recent Hulu documentary on the 2015 hack of marital infidelity website AshleyMadison.com.]
In 2019, a Canadian company called Defiant Tech Inc. pleaded guilty to running LeakedSource[.]com, a service that sold access to billions of passwords and other data exposed in countless data breaches. KrebsOnSecurity has learned that the owner of Defiant Tech, a 32-year-old Ontario man named Jordan Evan Bloom, was hired in late 2014 as a developer for the marital infidelity site AshleyMadison.com. Bloom resigned from AshleyMadison citing health reasons in June 2015 — less than one month before unidentified hackers stole data on 37 million users — and launched LeakedSource three months later.
If you’ve ever owned a domain name, the chances are good that at some point you’ve received a snail mail letter which appears to be a bill for a domain or website-related services. In reality, these misleading missives try to trick people into paying for useless services they never ordered, don’t need, and probably will never receive. Here’s a look at the most recent incarnation of this scam — DomainNetworks — and some clues about who may be behind it.
If you operate a cybercrime business that relies on disseminating malicious software, you probably also spend a good deal of time trying to disguise or “crypt” your malware so that it appears benign to antivirus and security products. In fact, the process of “crypting” malware is sufficiently complex and time-consuming that most serious cybercrooks will outsource this critical function to a handful of trusted third parties. This story explores the history and identity behind Cryptor[.]biz, a long-running crypting service that is trusted by some of the biggest names in cybercrime.
Code-signing certificates are supposed to help authenticate the identity of software publishers, and provide cryptographic assurance that a signed piece of software has not been altered or tampered with. Both of these qualities make stolen or ill-gotten code-signing certificates attractive to cybercriminal groups, who prize their ability to add stealth and longevity to malicious software. This post is a deep dive on “Megatraffer,” a veteran Russian hacker who has practically cornered the underground market for malware focused code-signing certificates since 2015.