Chapter 8. Organized Crime in Cyberspace

Card: I need guarantees.

Card: what if you change the pass and don’t give any info? I’ve been on the *** several years now. It’s a resource for carders.

7: I know, I am on there, too.

7: if you take my info into account and work a little, you can get a lot more money.

Card: I see.

7: I just think it’s a pretty dangerous thing—there are some big guys behind this money—they don’t ask who you are and why you are doing this. They’ll just break both your arms.

English translation of ICQ discussion between two hackers negotiating a fee for stolen card data.

Whether you think the Russian mafia or the Chinese Triads are involved in cyber attacks really depends on how closely you align cyber crime with other forms of cyber conflict. As I stated earlier, I believe that no such distinction should exist. Cyber crime is perpetrated by an attack on a network, just as is done in acts of cyber espionage or computer network exploitation (CNE). The malware used to gain access to backend databases is the same. In many cases, the same hackers are involved in cyber crime and geopolitical attacks on foreign government websites, as is the case with one of the two hackers quoted above.

The hacker identified as “7” was also a member of the forum, albeit under a different alias, and directly participated in attacks on Georgian government websites. 7 is also the one who inferred the involvement of the Russian mafia in underground cyber transactions such as ...

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