Digital Shadows study explores tactics of credit card fraud gangs

The study found that aspiring criminals can make up to $12,000 in monthly earnings through e-learning courses

Tags: Cyber crimeCyber espionageDigital Shadows (digitalshadows.com/)USA
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Digital Shadows study explores tactics of credit card fraud gangs Holland: "This ecosystem is highly complex and international. At each stage, it creates victims - from the card industry that loses $24bn a year to consumers who are frequently duped into revealing their card details."
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  July 21, 2017

Digital risk management firm Digital Shadows recently released the findings of study that explored the various habits and tactics utilised by credit card fraud gangs.

The company's global team of analysts evaluated a wide range of criminal forums and discovered a rising trend of remote learning ‘schools'.

Typically taught in the Russian language, these schools offer six-week courses that are so sophisticated, they include webinars, course materials and detailed notes. Cyber criminals who complete these courses could potential make up to $12,000 a month.

Rick Holland, VP Strategy at Digital Shadows, commented: "The card companies have developed sophisticated anti-fraud measures and high quality training like this can be seen as a reaction to this."

"Unfortunately, it's a sign that criminals continually seek to lower barriers to entry, which then put more criminals into the ecosystem and cost card brands, retailers and consumers. However, the benefit is that the criminals are increasingly exposing their methods, which means that credit card companies, merchants and customers can learn from them and adjust their defences accordingly."

Other insights from the study show that social engineering techniques are heavily emphasised in the courses as it is the main weapon used by cyber criminals to discover PIN codes, and personal details of the cardholder.

"This ecosystem is highly complex and international. At each stage, it creates victims - from the card industry that loses $24bn a year to consumers who are frequently duped into revealing their card details," explained Holland.

"One of the key themes that stood out for us is the level of ‘social engineering' criminals are now using. Aggressive and manipulative phone calls to victims to reveal PIN numbers is just one example of this."

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