Combat Online Credit Card Fraud Through Dark Web Search and Open Source Intelligence Tools

Nearly seven out of 10 Americans have at least one credit card, meaning upwards of 174 million Americans currently engage in purchasing activities with this plastic form of “money.”  

Credit cards (when used wisely) have many advantages including the ability to purchase goods and services now, while paying cash for them at a later date. Some credit card companies may even offer cash back or some type of rewards system for using their card.  

With holiday shopping in full swing, the BrightPlanet team thought it would be interesting to harvest data on credit card information currently available on the Deep Web and Dark Web as a way to display the potential danger for online credit card fraud on the web.

Discover the type of credit card data available through Dark Web search, and find out how utilizing OSINT (open source intelligence tools) can help your business combat fraud and protect sensitive company and customer information.

Online Credit Card Fraud: The Facts

In the year 2015, the Nilson Report estimates that losses due to credit card fraud amounted to $21.84 billion worldwide.

While credit cards can be physically stolen and illegally used by someone who is not the cardholder, a majority of stolen credit card numbers come from the hacking of online databases where this information is often stored.

Companies including Target and Home Depot made headlines in recent years regarding their credit card data breaches that affected millions of credit card holders nationwide.

The Process of Obtaining Illegal Credit Card Data

So just how do cyber criminals get the illegal credit card data they want, and how does it get added to the Deep Web and Dark Web?

Some criminals hack into company data records using stolen login credentials. Many criminals also obtain the credit card data in bulk through the process of credit card skimming. These skimmers are often placed over the card swipe mechanism on ATMs, gas stations, and even used by service industry workers.

Once a card is swiped through a skimmer, the device captures and stores all the details stored in the credit card’s magnetic strip.

Once cyber-criminals obtain enough credit card data, many will sell this data in bulk to other criminals on the Deep Web and Dark Web.

These criminals typically make small charges on the stolen cards amounting to just a few dollars at most. This activity often goes unnoticed by the real cardholder, and can go on for months or years before the credit card fraud is discovered.

Harvest Dark Web Data to Obtain Online Credit Card Fraud Information

Credit card companies work hard to detect fraudulent credit card activity; however, it is difficult for these companies to obtain Deep Web and Dark Web data, where much of the fraudulent credit card data is stored.

BrightPlanet recently utilized Dark Web search and open source intelligence tools to see the type of credit card data available on the Dark Web. Here’s what we found:

  • 80,000 total credit card numbers on the Dark Web
  • Most credit card data found on online message board forums
  • Credit card data from 142 countries, 3,322 banks, and 10,720 bin numbers

While some of the credit cards found on the Dark Web are junk cards or no longer valid, many are active and contribute to the billions of dollars in losses due to credit card fraud each year.

The use of open source intelligence tools and data harvest technology has been the driving force behind many government credit card fraud stings, including the recent Carderprofit scheme.

More companies are realizing the importance of quality anti-fraud monitoring programs that utilize open source intelligence tools to fight illegal activity and prevent important company and client data from the hands of cyber criminals.

Monitor Online Credit Card Fraud Risk with Open Source Intelligence Tools and BrightPlanet

Even though more companies are accessing tools that allow them to monitor the Surface Web for online credit card fraud, the problem is now moving to the Deep Web and Dark Web.

This move makes it harder for companies to maintain security for their company and clients, especially in regards to credit card information.

As evidenced earlier, BrightPlanet has the technology to harvest data related to online credit card fraud, along with the ability to monitor other fraudulent activities taking place on the Deep Web and Dark Web.

Looking to minimize the risk of online credit card fraud, or simply want to improve your company’s risk management strategy? Let BrightPlanet help and schedule a consultation with one of our data acquisition engineers today!


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