🔑 Key Takeaways
- Purchasing stolen credit cards through illegal online marketplaces is a criminal activity that harms not only individuals but also US banks and businesses. The US Secret Service is actively monitoring these marketplaces and investigating these criminals who use anonymous payment platforms like Liberty Reserve.
- Be wary of suspicious vendors on illegal markets and always keep an eye out for any unusual activity on your computer. Malware can listen for keystrokes and steal sensitive information, so make sure to take proactive measures to protect your data.
- Hackers can use malware to steal credit card information and sell it on the black market, but investigators like Detective Dunn can connect the dots and track them down with technical expertise and determination.
- Inadvertently exposing Remote Desktop to the internet with weak passwords can lead to noisy and sloppy hacks. Keep Remote Desktop inaccessible, update security mechanisms regularly to prevent such attacks.
- Even the most skilled hackers can be caught if law enforcement is patient and persistent in tracking their movements. Political connections may provide some protection, but ultimately, no one is above the law.
- International cooperation and effective law enforcement can catch even the most sophisticated hackers engaged in illegal activities, highlighting the consequences of cybercrime and the importance of cybersecurity measures.
- Using weak and reused passwords on personal devices can lead to forensic evidence in digital devices, holding sensitive information and consequences for criminal activity. Strong digital security is crucial.
- Cybercriminals will have to face severe consequences of their actions, with the imprisonment of Roman Seleznev being proof thereof. Their hacking may eventually lead to their capture and punishment.
- Small businesses need to invest in proper security measures and compliance with the payment card industry. Legal action should be taken against cyber criminals to prevent further damages.
📝 Podcast Summary
The Dark Cloud of Illegal Online Marketplaces
Stolen credit cards are sold on illegal online marketplaces for significant amounts of money. The purchasing process involves transferring money via Liberty Reserve, an anonymous payment platform. Some vendors have high success rates and are highly sought after, but the US Secret Service is actively monitoring these marketplaces and investigating the criminal activity. Using stolen credit cards is illegal and affects not only individuals but also US banks and businesses. The Secret Service has a mission to find these criminals and bring them to justice. One case involved a vendor called nCux who was found through online activity and was determined to be a Russian word meaning 'psycho'.
The Story of Track2 and the Kameo Malware
The Secret Service discovered a vendor named Track2, selling stolen credit card dumps on an illegal carding market. They became suspicious as this new vendor was marked as a trusted vendor on day one, and other vendors were being removed. The Secret Service began watching them closely and discovered that they were responsible for installing Kameo malware on computers at Schlotzsky's Deli in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The malware listened for keystrokes, looking for credit card information, which was then transmitted to a server in Russia. Detective Dunn found that the malware had been present on the computer for six months and that it was put there by someone who had control of it. This discovery led to the arrest of the Ohio buyer, and they were able to trace the source of the stolen credit cards.
Detective Dunn follows the trail of Kameo malware and unravels a credit card fraud operation linked to Roman Seleznev.
Detective Dunn connects the dots between Schlotzsky's Deli hack and fraudulent charges on credit cards with the Broadway Grill as the common purchase point. He finds that both had been hacked with Kameo malware that stole credit card information. Dunn traced the malware to the same Russian server being used by Roman Seleznev, a notorious carder previously tracked by the Secret Service. Dunn discovered that Seleznev was the same person operating two carding websites Bulba.cc and Track2.name. Dunn obtained a warrant for Seleznev's Yahoo e-mails and found evidence of his involvement in the carding operation through Liberty Reserve and a PayPal account. With the new evidence, Secret Service is once again on Seleznev's trail.
The Importance of Securing Remote Desktop Access to Prevent Hacks
The story highlights the importance of keeping Remote Desktop inaccessible from the internet and ensuring strong passwords. Roman Seleznev allegedly hacked into hundreds of restaurants and shops around the world by brute-forcing Remote Desktop login. This hack was noisy, sloppy and fundamentally not sophisticated. Detective Dunn was able to link Roman to the hack by investigating a server rented out by him which had over 400,000 stolen credit cards. The detective visited hacked restaurants and found the same signs - Remote Desktop enabled on the POS computers with malware installed, and credit cards scraped and sent to Roman's servers. Strong authentication mechanisms, keeping security patches updated can prevent such hacks.
The Elusive Carder: How Roman Seleznev Outwitted the Secret Service.
Roman Seleznev, a notorious carder and hacker, was protected by his father who was a deputy in the Russian parliament. Despite being involved in a big-time operation that brought him $2.4 million in a week, Roman went dark after a suicide bombing at a popular restaurant in Marrakech. His websites, Bulba.cc and Track2.name, shut down nine months later, making the Secret Service uncertain of his condition. While they tried to prepare for his capture, Roman continued to take short trips to Indonesia and avoided being tracked by buying last-minute plane tickets. The feds had no way to capture him there as there was no extradition treaty with Indonesia. The Secret Service had to wait patiently for him to make a mistake.
The Arrest and Capture of 2pac.cc Mastermind, Roman Seleznev
Roman Seleznev was the mastermind behind 2pac.cc, a site involved in the illegal sale of credit card dumps. His large incoming transactions caught the attention of the Secret Service after they shut down Liberty Reserve, a company involved in processing money used for illegal purposes. He was tracked down to the Maldives and caught while trying to flee to Russia. The Secret Service took him to Guam and continued to investigate his laptop, which was password-protected. Roman pleaded innocent but the evidence against him was strong, leading to a trial in Washington State. The case shows the importance of international cooperation in capturing criminals and how even sophisticated hackers can be caught.
The Perils of Weak Digital Security in Criminal Activities
Reusing passwords and using simple passwords on personal devices is a bad idea, especially for criminal activities. Forensic analysis of digital devices can reveal deleted files and incriminating evidence, and cloud storage may hold sensitive information. The Secret Service was able to build a strong case against a carding kingpin based on evidence found on his laptop, network logs, and phone records. Attempts to pay off prosecutors and seek political influence did not work. This highlights the importance of digital security and the consequences of criminal activities in the digital world.
Roman Seleznev sentenced to 27 years for cybercrimes.
Roman Seleznev was found guilty on thirty-eight out of forty counts that included international damage to protected computers, wire fraud, obtaining information from a protected computer, and aggravated identity theft. Despite Roman trying to delay and find a way out of prison, his continuous lying to prosecutors and refusal to cooperate resulted in him getting twenty-seven years of prison time for his crimes. Roman's laptop had 1.7 million stolen credit cards from 400 different restaurants and shops. His hacking also included zoos across the US and he even stole credit cards from the Phoenix Zoo.
The Domino Effect of a Security Breach
Small and local businesses were affected by the security breach caused by Roman Seleznev and had to spend a lot of money to fix the security issues. The breach also caused them to be fined for not being compliant with the payment card industry. Additionally, when the news got out, these businesses faced ridicule and shaming, lost customers, and eventually shutdown causing them to file for bankruptcy. This shows how important it is to have proper security measures in place and be compliant with the payment card industry. One mistake can have a domino effect on the business and its customers. The case of Roman Seleznev also highlights the importance of proper legal action and investigations against such cyber criminals to ensure justice is served and prevent further damage to businesses and individuals.