Home Cyber Crime Joker’s Stash closure kicks off competition for a successor

Joker’s Stash closure kicks off competition for a successor


Marketplace for stolen cost playing cards will persist, menace intel agency predicts

The closure of a notorious carding forums has kicked off competition for a successor

UPDATED The most important illicit market for stolen cost card knowledge, Joker’s Stash, formally shut down in the present day (February 15).

Risk intel consultants at Flashpoint predict one among 4 contenders will step in to fill the vacuum left by the positioning’s departure from the cybercrime scene.

Joker’s Stash closed on schedule, 30 days after its founder introduced he was flattening the shutters on the cybercrime bazaar.

BACKGROUND Joker’s Stash demise likely to spawn growth to rival cybercrime forums

Elevated regulation enforcement scrutiny hastened {the marketplace}’s demise however not the illicit enterprise mannequin it mined, in keeping with a white paper from Flashpoint.

The safety agency reckons 4 cybercrime marketplaces are primed to turn out to be the main exponent of the Joker’s Stash mannequin: Brian’s Membership, Ferum, Trump’s Dumps and Yale Lodge.


Joker’s Stash, the longest working stolen cost card store, launched in 2014 within the wake of a number of main bank card breaches and the success of different illicit shops resembling Silk Highway.

It efficiently offered bank card particulars stolen from varied knowledge breaches for simply over six years. Since 2017 the positioning has hosted retailers and related infrastructure through blockchain DNS, which in keeping with one operator “is ideal bcoz its unimaginable to abuse and it’s totally immune to area locks”.

Joker’s Stash operated as a type of blackmarket equal of eBay or Amazon Market, taking a reduce of gross sales proceeds generated by third social gathering distributors.

Its unidentified operator could have amassed a fortune of greater than $1 billion in Bitcoin, in keeping with an analysis by cryptocurrency know-how supplier Elliptic.

Elliptic studies that the positioning turned inaccessible greater than every week in the past, a while earlier than its scheduled closure, in a improvement that irritated a few of its clients.

“Joker’s Stash introduced that it will stop operations on fifteenth February, though the positioning turned inaccessible as of the third February, angering many shoppers, who nonetheless had balances to spend,” mentioned the corporate.

“It is likely one of the few prison marketplaces to close down by itself phrases, a sufferer of its personal success fairly than on account of any obvious regulation enforcement operation.”

Flashpoint confirmed that the Joker’s Stash successfully closed on February 4, almost two weeks forward of schedule, a day after “spokesperson for Joker’s Stash card store throughout varied Russian and English-forums deleted the threads that they’ve used for communication with their clients and for bulletins of upcoming updates”.

The store itself has remained unreachable since February 4.

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Joker’s Stash appeared to reduce its operations in July 2020 with a noticeable decline in each the standard and response time of its buyer assist. Quite a few theories emerged to clarify the drop-off that included potential regulation enforcement motion, well being problems with the menace actors, and even a possible exit rip-off.

Store operators lastly introduced on January 15, 2021 that it will shut down the store for good on February 15.

Enhancements to the cardboard cost ecosystem resembling improved anti-fraud applied sciences and the transfer to contactless funds are making life harder for carders (cost card knowledge thieves). It will have a knock-on impact for the carding marketplaces searching for to take advantage of a spot available in the market created by the exit of Joker’s Stash, in keeping with Flashpoint.

The menace intel agency provides a type e-book on the 4 important contenders trying to supplant Joker’s Stash:

  • Brian’s Membership: Since information of Joker’s Stash’s imminent closure broke, this platform has considerably elevated promoting on carding boards and chat rooms in an try to draw new customers. It provides in depth assist to customers on varied boards, and has totally recovered from a breach that took down the store in October 2019.

  • Ferum: Ferum’s administrator maintains a long-standing presence in illicit carding communities. The store is out there on the clear net and Tor, offering simpler entry for entry-level cybercriminals. Nevertheless, the comparatively small quantity of card content material has restricted broader scale adoption.

  • Trump’s Dumps: This comparatively new store has elevated promoting to seize the open market share left by Joker’s Stash’s absence. The store provides quite a lot of companies, together with a self-hosted checker.

  • Yale Lodge: A Tor and clear net card store with a comparatively excessive diploma of buyer assist, in addition to a self-hosted checking service.

Ian Grey, director of research and analysis at Flashpoint, mentioned: “Our insights present that what from the skin seemed to be a sudden and sudden shutdown of Joker’s Stash was in reality a long-term decline.”

He provides: “Joker’s Stash was not the primary illicit card store and it actually received’t be the final. We all know from our intelligence that at the least 4 retailers are well-positioned to seize the market share left open following Joker’s Stash’s closure.”

Boards, fairly than personal teams on Telegram and the like will stay the principle discussion board for the sale of stolen card knowledge, in keeping with Flashpoint:

Whereas Telegram helps chats and conversations, it doesn’t have a local cost system inside the software. Some customers could conduct peer-to-peer transactions by way of Telegram, nonetheless with out an escrow or administrator there’s a chance that the consumer could also be scammed.

Bot companies like Televend are being utilized in fraud and drug communities to supply automated cost techniques, which offers comfort, though it lacks a store interface.

Outlets like Joker’s Stash have gained the belief of their customers by way of the discharge of huge breaches of bank card knowledge, and nameless and decentralized community infrastructure (e.g., Blockchain-DNS).

They’ve offered buyer assist on mid and high-tier English and Russian language boards. Moreover, they’ve offered tips for giving out buyer refunds on rejected playing cards that met a sure standards.

Flashpoint analysts don’t foresee any main adjustments going down within the construction of card retailers. “The enterprise mannequin on Joker’s Stash was rated extremely by customers throughout varied cybercrime communities and Flashpoint analysts assess with excessive confidence that different card retailers will try to copy the mannequin Joker’s Stash,” it mentioned.

Flashpoint’s Grey concluded: “Monetary establishments [need] to stay conscious of those fast-paced market adjustments and have the flexibility to rapidly establish their cost merchandise and buyer knowledge when it’s provided on the market on these illicit marketplaces.”

This story has been up to date with extra remark from Flashpoint.

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