The Chinese cybercrime underground has evolved to feature search engines to help darknet users find leaked data, and ATM and POS skimmers to capitalize on the growing consumer trend for non-cash payments, according to Trend Micro.
The security giant’s latest report, Prototype Nation: the Chinese Cybercrime Underground in 2015, shows that Chinese-speaking cyber-criminals are as innovative and quick to adapt to tech advances as ever.
A case in point is the new breed of search engine for leaked data, such as SheYun, PassBase and TuoMiMa.
SheYun is unusual in that it’s free but makes its money by offering to suppress data from victims for a price (100 yuan per keyword).
"Usually, SheYun's users want leaked data – rich info about users, including: usernames, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers and so on,” report author Lion Gu told Infosecurity.
“SheYun offers a full-text search for such data. Criminals can search for possible victims from SheYun to develop further attacks, including targeted attacks and massive attacks.”
The report explained the attraction of such sites in more detail:
“The data leaked underground allows attackers to commit crimes like financial fraud, identity and intellectual property theft, espionage, and even extortion. Armed with sensitive or potentially damaging information on a politician, for instance, like leaked personal details on an extramarital affair website, a cybercriminal can discredit the target who may be lobbying for the approval of, say, the national cybercrime bill.”
Chinese cyber-criminals have also begun to offer social engineering toolkits like 'Social Engineering Master', designed to provide those without the time or resources with the ability to search through leaked data, send spoofed emails, create fake IDs using templates, and much more — all for just $50.
With China expected to register a growth in non-cash payments of 27% for last year, the cyber-criminals are getting in on the act, by offering various carding devices like POS, ATM and “pocket” skimmers en masse.
POS skimmers, sold for around 5,000 yuan ($788, £500), are altered card machines which transmit card data to the criminal as soon as it has been used.
More expensive versions even alert the miscreant with an SMS, and some also feature PIN skimming technology.
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