Meet Cybercrime’s Usual Suspects

By Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_)  

It’s easy to see why cybercriminals have the upperhand in the war on fraud: In contrast to the siloed world of enterprise businesses, cybercriminals operate as part of a unified network, one that is able to coordinate and drive targeted intelligence toward its devious goals.

A new white paper by ThreatMetrix, however, is looking to shed light on these networks and unite these scattered business silos by revealing new ways to prevent the up to $3.8 billion in fraud committed by cybercriminals annually.

“On the surface, enterprises collaborate with industry conferences, best practices and joint committees, but lack real collaboration through sharing of data in a global network,” ThreatMetrix wrote in its report.

To help businesses break traditional silos and develop a more coordinated response to cybercrime, the white paper took a look at what it called “the nexus of data breaches and fraud” to reveal the different stakeholders in the cybercrime chain and they operate to perpetuate cybercrime around the globe.

Harvesters And Hackers – These fraudsters, the report said, concentrate on breaching enterprises to steal card information and online identities, specifically targeting enterprises through networks, endpoints and data centers.

Their tools of attack? Trojans, malware and phishing, which are all used to obtain credit cards and identities that can then be sold around the through underground forums. ThreatMetrix further revealed harvesters and hackers charge up to $15 per credit card and as much as $10 per online identity.

Cashers – The next players in the fraud ecosystem are cashers, who are the primary market of harvesters and hackers. Cashers, the report indicated, are the parties that use these fraudulent cards at online businesses and financial institutions to obtain items that are harder to trace, such as gift cards, digital goods and money transfers.

“The cashers use the most competitive feature of these businesses against them – online transactions can be initiated from anywhere in the world,” ThreatMetrix wrote.

Money Mules – The final player in the ecosystem, money mules receive the merchandise purchased by money mules, turning them into cash.

How can business silos band together to develop similar coordination when it comes to fighting fraud, and secure the necessary tools to protect themselves while accelerating revenue, reducing costs and eliminating friction?

To learn more, read ThreatMetrix’s latest white paper “Combating Cybercrime – A Collective Global Response” in full here.

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