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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 09:42

RiskIQ finds established group using new method for card-skimming

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RiskIQ finds established group using new method for card-skimming Image by teguhjati pras from Pixabay

An established group that steals data through phishing and card-skimming is using new infrastructure and activities to generate revenue, the security firm RiskIQ says, adding that it has named the group Fullz House based on its operations.

RiskIQ chief researcher Yonathan Klijnsma said in a blog post that the group was involved in the following operations:

Generic phishing was being used to sell “fullz,” a slang term used by criminals and data resellers meaning full packages of individuals’ identifying information on their store called “BlueMagicStore.”

Card-skimming was being carried out to sell credit card information on their carding store which was named “CardHouse.”

He said the new activities and the infrastructure used had been put in place in August or September.

Fullz House used phishing to collect personally identifiable information, banking credentials and banking card information from customers and also carried out skimming or phishing of credit cards during online shopping.

Klijnsma said there was a small overlap in the attack infrastructure. "The 'sales platforms' this group operates also have infrastructure overlap with the infrastructure tied to the group’s operations that steal cards or payment credentials," he noted.

In the past, RiskIQ has tracked a cyber crime syndicate known as Magecart, which is made up of dozens of sub-groups that indulge in credit card theft by skimming online payment forms.

To sell information, Fullz House used phishing pages that were reconstructions of payment provider pages, not copies. Templates mimicked different providers but the back-end used was the same.

While web-skimming to collect credit card details was not in any way new, Klijnsma said these operators had written their own skimmer.

"[This] is something we don’t often see anymore. The majority of criminals rely on skimming kits, buying pre-made skimmers from others—there are only a handful of operators now that maintain their own code," he pointed out.

The skimmer also did not work like most modern implementations which waited for the victim to complete a purchase. Fullz House's skimmer hooked up to every input field and waited for an input change to check if there was data to steal.

Klijnsma said the group behind Fullz House used "bulletproof hosting" - hosts that provided better uptime and shielded hosts from legal fallout.

"Ultimately, the picture that emerges is of a well-connected group that has access to bulletproof hosting, is schooled in the world of phishing, and, although new to web-skimming, has the cunning to make a niche for themselves," he added.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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