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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Online fraudsters 'steal £3.3bn'

Hi-tech thieves who specialise in card fraud have a credit line in excess of $5bn (£3.35bn), research suggests.

Security firm Symantec calculated the figure to quantify the scale of fraud it found during a year-long look at the net's underground economy.

Credit card numbers were the most popular item on sale and made up 31% of all the goods on offer.
Coming in second were bank details which made up 20% of the items being offered on criminal chat channels.

1) Credit card information - 31%
2) Financial accounts - 20%
3)Spam and phishing information - 19%
4) Withdrawal service - 7%
5) Identity theft information - 7%
6) Server accounts - 5%
7) Compromised computers - 4%
8) Website accounts - 3%
9) Malicious applications - 2%
10) Retail accounts - 1%
Credit card numbers have proved so popular among hi-tech thieves because they are easy to obtain and use for fraudulent purposes.

Many of the methods favoured by cyber criminals, such as phishing schemes, database attacks and magnetic strip skimmers, are designed to steal credit card information, it said.

The price card thieves can expect for the numbers they offer for sale also varied by the country of origin. US card numbers were the cheapest because they were so ubiquitous - 74% of all cards offered for sale were from the US.

By contrast numbers from cards issued in Europe and the Middle East commanded a premium because they were relatively rare.

Russian and Eastern European gangs seem to be among the most well-organised and, said the report, have the ability to mass-produce credit and debit cards. By contrast thieves in the US are much more loosely aligned. . . . read more

courtesy : BBC News

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