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June 14, 2011

  • Citi Breach Simple Process, Pt.2
       Becoming more and more sophisticated.


    Recent statistics reported by Verizon and the Secret Service indicates that the sale of credit card data in the black market had actually decreased over recent years. During 2008, a reported 360 million stolen records including personal data and credit card numbers, was up for sale on the black market compared to only 3.8 million during 2010. It is assumed that the large number of credit cards that had been stolen in 2008 will soon expire leaving a huge hole in the pile of stolen cards available for sale. Therefore, thieves are being forced to find new ways to break into the added sophisticated security systems of banks and credit card companies in order find more data to replenish their inventory.

    As supply and demand fluctuates, it is likely that thieves will raise the going rate for each credit card account as well as step up measures to design more attacks. It is also speculated that competition will motivate more thieves to set up their black market sites where stolen credit card and personal data is sold. According to Pablo Martinez, Deputy Special Agent head of the Secret Service Criminal Investigation Division stated that these black market websites have already begun to grow "exponentially" with increased sophistication.

    Criminals that purchase the stolen credit cards online, use the cards to purchase items, resell them and turn over the proceeds to the ring leader. When these fraud rings operate internationally, agents operating in different countries will often wire the proceeds home to the ringís base. A great deal of the time, thieves also use the stolen card information to steal the identities of the cardholder by setting up other accounts under their name.

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft has ranked at the top of the list for 11 consecutive years and has grown to be double that of the number two spot. It is also important to note that not every breach results in credit cards being used for fraudulent activity. Because the Citi hackers did not access the cardís expiration dates and three digit security code, it will be very difficult for them to use them. Nevertheless, cardholders are advised to closely monitor their card statements for any suspicious or fraudulent activity.

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