Many of us go shopping for the best possible credit card, looking for interest rates trying to avoid fees and charges and hopefully finding some great rewards to benefit our family. Sometimes we contact our bank or stores in order to shop for those credit cards that we will really use. I guess it should come as no surprise that those wanting to use credit cards illegally also go shopping online to find their rock bottom, best possible credit card deal.
The Washington Post and Bloomberg reports that a European hacker online name “Poxxie” obtained over 1,400 credit card numbers with all their information including expiration codes, security codes, names and address of the credit card holders and then sold them on his online store CVVs.in. Ironically, he claims that his sales are so popular because he is honest and that underworld buyers have come to trust the “quality of his goods.” Unfortunately his site registered in India, making it even that much more difficult to catch cyber thieves in “the act.”
Just like any other online site from Amazon to eBay shoppers can sort and shop online, sorting and finding the “goods” they want by bank card, type, credit limit and even zip code. (My question is how do they pay for it, I wouldn’t trust an online credit card transaction, these are thieves and fraudsters after all.)
Here’s a few interesting facts from the article:
“Symantec Corp., the cybersecurity firm, estimates that cyber thieves steal data worth $114 billion a year. By comparison, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the take from all bank robberies in the U.S. in 2010 was just $43 million. The global market in cocaine is an estimated $85 billion, according to the United Nations.” (Emphasis added)
“Cybergangs, mainly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, are making money that rivals some drug cartels,” said Richard Clarke, former special adviser on cybersecurity to U.S. President George W. Bush, at an October conference on network security. “There is frankly nothing the FBI and Secret Service can do about it.”
“The stance we take is looking at it through the lens of organized crime,” he (Eric Strom, an FBI special agent) said. It took the better part of the 1980s and early 1990s for federal authorities to understand and begin to dismantle the U.S. mafia: develop investigative capacity, penetrate complex enterprises, pass new laws. It will take time with global cybercrime as well, Strom said.
“We’re trying to keep pace with how the crime is evolving,” he said.
Online theft has become easier and easier as hackers become smarter, malware becomes easier to obtain and chat rooms can teach you what you need to know to become the most experienced hacker.
“The problem is getting worse faster than we’re getting better,” said Tony Sager, chief operating officer of the Information Assurance Directorate at the National Security Agency, which includes some of the U.S. government’s best cyberexperts. “We’re not keeping pace.”
Identity theft protection services can help you know when your credit card has been used or stolen. One service that is available is IdentityHawk, a site and service that provides consumers with the opportunity to monitor their credit, view their information online whenever they want, help them to identify the areas they are most at risk for identity theft and provide them with information on how to reduce those risks.
Let’s make sure our credit card information doesn’t provide the inventory for credit card shopping sites like this one.