Russia Dismantles Four Dark Web Sites Involving $263 Million in Cryptocurrency Sales
The Russian Interior Ministry has reportedly shut down four major illegal dark web sites that were generating over $260 million in cryptocurrency proceeds from the sale of stolen credit cards. These platforms are Ferum Shop, Trump's Dumps, Sky-Fraud Forum and UAS Store.
The latest seizures
Known as "swipe" sites, these illegal platforms offer stolen credit cards that buyers can purchase with premium gift cards, luxury goods, or (as in this case) cryptocurrency.
Blockchain analytics provider Elliptic revealed that the four Russian sites earned a total of about $263 million in digital assets through illegal transactions. The three most commonly used cryptocurrencies are bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin (LTC).
According to the analysis, Ferum Shop alone has earned $256 million in BTC from stolen credit cards since October 2013. this represents about 17 percent of that illicit market. However, Elliptic said it is difficult to provide an accurate figure because Ferum Shop has been using "sporadic use of payment processors" for years.
Trump's Dumps uses the image of former U.S. President Donald Trump as its brand identity, making it notorious for generating about $4.1 million in revenue since 2017. The platform specialized in selling raw magnetic stripe data from compromised cards - often referred to as "dumps".
The Sky-Fraud forum, a place where criminals discussed "swipe" techniques and money laundering tips, was also shut down. Russian police even left a message on the platform saying, "Who's next among you?"
The UAS Store, a popular seller of stolen Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials, was also the fourth site shut down by Russian law enforcement agencies. It accounted for $3 million of the digital asset proceeds, $862,000 of which was obtained during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
Less than a month ago, authorities halted the operations of UniCC and LuxSocks. These credit card selling sites earned a total of $372 million in cryptocurrency during their existence.
How much cryptocurrency do Russians own?
Russian lawmakers, who have been very hesitant in their stance on cryptocurrencies, recently announced that they will regulate the asset class, rather than ban it. This should be considered good news for the growing number of local investors.
According to some estimates, Russians own a total of about $214 billion worth of digital assets, a figure that represents nearly 12 percent of the total market value.
However, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov believes this figure is greatly exaggerated. He estimates that local investors hold about $26 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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