You may call it karma or label it as what goes around comes around; it is reported that the website that thrives by selling stolen credit card data has itself been hacked. And, hackers have removed nearly 26 million records from the site, which is double from its sales so far – The news was first reported by Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity.
The website under the hammer, dubbed BriansClub, sells payment details that are usually submitted by other hackers. BriansClub[.]at collected the stolen card numbers’ data over the course of four years and it seems that both physical retail outlets and online stores were used for this purpose.
Furthermore; its FAQs page clearly explains that the website “[sells] the dumps (track2/track1) with country, state, city, zip information (optional) and CVV2 cards.” And the website offers a full refund for cards that do not work or are rendered invalid.
For your information, Track 1 and Track 2 are the different bits-per-inch encoded data present on the magnetic stripes of credit cards.
Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity, who BriansClub owner claims himself to be, notes that he received a large file containing the entire database of hacked/stolen payment details from BriansClub. Krebs confirmed that the data was legit, which he believes is rather discomforting as it shows that nothing is secure anymore.
“All of the card data stolen from BriansClub was shared with multiple sources who work closely with financial institutions to identify and monitor or reissue cards that show up for sale in the cybercrime underground,” wrote Krebs in his blog post.
Who hacked BriansClub’s database and what is the motivation behind the hack is yet unclear. However, Gemini’s co-founder and CEO Andrei Barysevich told KrebsOnSecurity that BriansClub is the leading store for buying hacked payment card data, and hence, this hack is surely going to have a short-term impact on the rates of stolen data. After all, more than 78% of the illegal stolen card trading is carried out by only a dozen online stores so such a massive data breach will definitely disturb the underground trading for some time.
“Since the demand for stolen credit cards is on the rise, other vendors will undoubtedly attempt to capitalize on the disappearance of the top player” states Barysevich.
BriansClub mostly sells hacked data in dumps, that is, strings of binary code. The code can later be used as a legit payment method after getting encoded onto the credit card’s magnetic stripe. Initially, BriansClub had 1.7 million card records up for sale and by 2016 the number reached 2.89 million only to get doubled in 2017 with 4.9 million cards and 9.2 million by 2018.
The data hack occurred in August 2019. The estimated value of the hacked database is a whopping $414million
This, however, is not the first time when a cybercrime marketplace has been hacked. In May 2016, Nulled.io, one of the largest buying and selling forums for hacked content was hacked after unknown hackers stole its entire database.
In June 2016, ShOping.su (previously known as ShOping.net), a Dark Net platform where hackers and cybercriminals sold stolen banking accounts suffered a massive data breach when attackers stole thousands of accounts –Initially, the stolen data was put to sale but later leaked online on public forums.
In another incident, another Worm.ws hacking forum was hacked by the infamous Peace of Mind hacking group who leaked its entire database online for anyone to download.