Russian Law Enforcement Take Down Several Cybercrime Forums

Russian authorities this week announced that they have seized Ferum Shop, Sky-Fraud, and Trump’s Dumps, three well-known online shops for stolen payment card data.

On February 7, the domains were seized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation’s Department “K” division, which left a message on the sites’ homepages to warn of the illegality of stealing funds from bank cards.

Russian law prohibits the production, purchase, sale, or use of counterfeit payment cards and software, devices, or other means of illegally transferring funds. However, it’s yet unclear whether the seized domains were targeting Russian banks.

According to Flashpoint, the authorities also appear to have left a message embedded into the source code of Ferum and Sky-Fraud, implying that other similar domains will be targeted in the near future.

Active for approximately 5 years, Ferum Shop was one of the largest carding shops. It became the longest-standing carding forum after Joker’s Stash shut down last year. Sky-Fraud, which had been active for roughly 4 years prior to takedown, was a low-tier forum, mainly used by beginner cybercriminals.

In addition to the three carding shops, Russian law enforcement seized UAS (Ultimate Anonymity Services), a portal for selling remote desktop protocol (RDP) access to compromised business environments.

All four sites, Flashpoint says, were hosted on .ru domains, and it’s likely that the Department K will continue to take action against .ru domains used for similar illegal activities.

[READ: What Other Russian Hackers Are Saying About the REvil Arrests]

The seizures came only a few weeks after Russian authorities announced the arrest of several members of the Infraud Organization, which resulted in the shutdown of major carding shop UniCC – Andrey Novak, one of the arrested individuals, was the administrator of UniCC.

In addition to seizing the illicit domains, Russian authorities arrested Artem Alexeyevich Zaytsev, the CEO of Get-Net LLC – the registrar for Sky-Fraud, Trump’s Dumps, UAS and Ferum. Zaytsev is believed to have been engaging in illegal activities since at least 2008, Flawshpoint says.

At least five others were arrested as well, namely Denis Pachevsky, Alexander Kovalev, Artem Bystrykh, Vladislav Gilev, and Yaroslav Solovyov, news agency Tass reports.

The newly announced takedown is the third major Russian law enforcement operation against cybercriminals, following the arrests of REvil operators and Infraud Organization members in January.

“As we have reported earlier, the arrests of REvil operators and the Infraud Organization members have recently led to speculation on top-tier forums that Russian security agencies may cooperate with Western law enforcement on certain arrests. This potential cooperation could change the cybercrime landscape, and limit the available venues where threat actors can communicate, or buy or sell illicit goods,” Flashpoint concludes.

Related: Russian Authorities Arrest Head of International Cybercrime Group

Related: Five Key Signals From Russia’s REvil Ransomware Bust

Related: Dutch Police Arrest Alleged Member of ‘Fraud Family’ Cybercrime Gang

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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