Although web skimming attacks are rampant these days, the underground market for physical card skimming devices is thriving and changing at the rate of technological advancements.
Card skimming is when cybercriminals add their own spying equipment to an automated teller machine (ATM) or point-of-sale system (PoS) to copy the information they process from credit or debit cards.
Offline carders organize in closed networks
Known as "real/offline carding," this technique is ancient and has been giving headaches to both banks and the customers that got their cards copied.
Closed communities of professional skimmers have evolved into networks that provide both logistics and information for running card skimming operations. They have engineers, cashers, extractors, technicians, decoders, and vendors, all contributing their expertise, products, and services.
The typical targets include ATMs, PoS terminals, and gas stations, according to a report from Advanced Intelligence (AdvIntel) a fraud prevention company based in New York.
Exclusive skimming networks rely on technological advancements to develop, upgrade, and sell top-of-the-line products that are both powerful and stealthy.
Yelisey Boguslaskiy, director of security research at AdvIntel, monitored these markets and noticed a preference among criminals for audio skimmers. This was based on information from reputable shops and source intelligence.
At a price of about $1,500, audio skimmers are not a new thing. They've been around since 2010 and the method they used has been mentioned as early as 1992.
These devices capture the data and usually encrypt it, then store it in MP3 format. Because of the encryption, that price is just ..