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Metaparasites: Cybercriminals scamming each other

Stunning information! Seems you’ll be able to’t belief criminals.

That goes with out saying, after all, however maybe the criminals themselves are additionally responsible of trusting others an excessive amount of and getting scammed because of this.

Sophos researchers offered an investigation at Black Hat Europe this week into so-called “metaparasites”, scammers who rip-off different scammers.

Sophos’ Matt Wixey and Angela Gunn described their analysis as:

“…a groundbreaking investigation into scammers scamming scammers and hackers hacking hackers, in three of essentially the most established and distinguished felony markets. We study the dimensions of this shadowy multi-billion greenback ecosystem; metaparasite motivations; how arbitration processes work; and what affect metaparasites have on the tradition and operations of the markets wherein they function.”

And some huge cash might be made by attacking cybercriminals.

Based on Sopbos, cybercriminals have misplaced greater than US$2.5 million to different scammers within the final 12 months, in simply three underground boards.

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Scams can take many types, together with pretend information leaks, blackmail, backdoor malware, and phishing.

The researchers even discovered 20 web sites that had been created to imitate felony marketplaces, “with the intent to trick customers into shelling out an ‘activation payment’ of greater than $100.”

My God, what a disgrace, it would not matter.

Confidence

And, maybe unsurprisingly, there’s even proof that some scammers who’ve been scammed take revenge by scamming the very individuals who scammed them (I hope they’re following this by the top…)

The issue of cybercriminals deceptive different cybercriminals has grow to be so necessary that underground boards even have devoted “arbitration rooms” the place disagreements might be aired within the hope of decision.

Arbitration

So that is all a number of enjoyable. And we like the concept cybercriminals are fooling one another as a substitute of spending all their time attacking the harmless public, however is there extra good to return out of this?

Based on the researchers, there are:

“Inadvertently, metaparasites present an intelligence benefit to analysts, permitting us to realize unprecedented insights into in any other case hidden gross sales, trades, offers and identifiers, in addition to market tradition, completely different ranges of safety operational and susceptibility to deception. and social engineering”.

However we should not giggle an excessive amount of, the researchers warn: “Not solely menace actors are in danger, but in addition inexperienced researchers, journalists, the curious usually.”

So long as those that discover and examine cybercriminal tradition should not fooled, I assume it should ease you a bit to suppose that cybercriminals are busy scamming one another as a substitute of us.

Did you discover this text attention-grabbing? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter or Mastodon to learn extra of the unique content material we publish.


Graham Cluley is an antivirus business veteran who has labored for varied safety firms for the reason that early Nineteen Nineties, when he wrote the primary model of Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Home windows. He’s now an unbiased safety analyst, seems frequently within the media, and is a global public speaker on the subject of pc safety, hackers, and on-line privateness. Comply with him on Twitter at @gcluleyin Mastodon in @[email protected]or ship him an e mail.


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