To read more about the dark net, check out the following links:
Black Web: A Definition
Discovering the Darknet: A Journey below the Web and Social Sphere
But Jokers Stash isn’t the first carding forum to have ever existed. The concept of carding, in fact, has existed almost as long as credit cards have. Different groups have different approaches for stealing financial information, but these days, such actions are conducted remotely through the unauthorized access of servers which also have the capability of processing payments.
The Significance of Jokers Stash and other Carding Forums
At present, it is fairly easy to harvest a wide range of user data given the open nature our lives, as well as the continuous integration of cashless payment systems into our local and global economies. Experts suggests that nearly 90% of all credit and debit cards that have been used on the Internet have been harvested at some point. This estimate, however, is almost certain to decline with the advent of multi-factor authentication and other security mechanisms that have made it more difficult to use people’s credit cards without their knowledge and/or consent.
This is where carding forums come into play. Over the past decade, many of these websites have more than doubled the fullness and quality of their credit card dumps, thereby increasing their notoriety and exposure. Jokers Stash, the most prominent of these websites, was established in early 2014 and has been a major player ever since. Most cyber criminals and law enforcement officers would describe it as the most significant carding forum the web has yet to index.
Though specific hacker groups are believed to be affiliated with it, most of them work autonomously to provide independent data breaches that are later put up for sale. The information in these dumps are said to be so accurate that actual credit and debit card clones can be created and also placed for sale. This is terrible news for financial institutions and cardholders alike.
Profiles and Pricing
The pricing of each profile, or, group of related information, depends on its completeness. A complete profile might include, but would certainly not be limited to, each of the following:
- A debit or credit card number
- An accompanying bank account number (if applicable)
- A card verfication value (CVV) number, which is needed to bypass the first layer of authentication
- A pin number to authenticate any fraudulent purchase
- The magnetic strip information which makes it possible for the hacker to clone the card
In some cases, hackers have gone as far as integrating some degree of personally-identifiable information. This way, should they be detained after physically presenting the card when making fraudulent purchases, they stand a decent chance of weaseling their way out of the situation.
In late 2019, one of the largest leaks on the Jokers Stash carding forum catapulted the dark web site into a global conversation of sorts. The leak, largely attributed to poor authentication and data protection practices, contained the financial information of over 4 million cards believed to be tied to four (4) restaurant chains. Hackers claimed the profiles in this dump were complete and price each of them for $100.
Stopping Your Data from Being Sold on the Jokers Stash Carding Forum
Unfortunately, experts believe that at least 90% of all cardholders have some degree of their information exposed on websites that make up the dark net. In other words, if you own a debit or credit card, there’s probably a good chance that your information has already been published on a carding forum. Vigilance is your best line of defense, which includes refraining from sharing your personal and/or financial information, making your online purchases with credible platforms only (like Amazon.com and Ebay.com), and paying attention to those massive data breaches that make headline news. Finally, every person with a online presence owes it to themselves to invest in a reputable identity protection service.