On sale: 60,000 stolen digital IDs and “masks” that can be used to bypass anti-fraud systems

April 11th, 2019 | by Alfred Siew
On sale: 60,000 stolen digital IDs and “masks” that can be used to bypass anti-fraud systems
ILLUSTRATION: Pixabay (Creative Commons)

As many as 60,000 stolen digital identities that lets fraudsters easily assume a victim’s identity and commit credit card fraud have been put on sale online, according to a report by security firm Kaspersky on April 9.

The company said its investigations of a Darknet marketplace called Genesis has shown that hackers have stolen not just regular credit card details that can be detected by anti-fraud systems today, but also the digital “masks” that are used to accurately identify someone online.

A mask could include a number of things, such as a user’s browser or device used to make payments online, for example.

It could also include items such as headers, time zone, installed plugins, which banks can use to check if a user is logging in from his usual device or location.

Now, Kaspersky is saying that hackers have also stolen these “masks” that companies use to confidently identity a user who wants to buy an item or bank online. In other words, they are able to trick anti-fraud systems that are deployed to catch suspicious behaviour or unusual transactions.

These masks, along with user accounts, are being sold for between US$5 and US$200 each on the Genesis e-shop, according to the security firm.

Customers simply buy previously stolen digital masks together with stolen logins and passwords to online shops and payment services, and then launch them through a browser and proxy connection to mimic real user activity, it said.

If they have the legitimate user’s account credentials, the attacker can then access their online accounts or make new, trusted transactions in their name, it added.

“While the industry invests heavily in anti-fraud measures, digital doppelgangers are hard to catch. An alternative way to prevent the spread of this malicious activity is to shut down the fraudsters’ infrastructure,”
said Sergey Lozhkin, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“That is why we urge law enforcement agencies across the world to pay extra attention to this issue and join the fight,” he added.

Other tools enable attackers to create from scratch their own unique digital masks that won’t trigger anti-fraud solutions.

Kaspersky Lab says its researchers have investigated one such tool – a special Tenebris browser with an embedded configuration generator to develop unique fingerprints.

Once created, the carder can simply launch the mask through a browser and proxy connection and conduct any operations online.

The security firm encourages users to use multi-factor authentication at every stage of user validation processes and consider additional verification, such as biometrics.


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