OXFORD, U.K., Dec. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, today announced in the first of a four-part series, “The Scammers Who Scam Scammers on Cybercrime Forums,” that cybercriminals are scamming each other out of millions of dollars and use arbitration to settle disputes about the scams. The report also reveals how attackers use classic techniques—some decades old, such as typosquatting, phishing, backdoored malware, and fake marketplaces—to carry out their scams against each other.
For this report, Sophos X-Ops experts investigated Exploit and XSS, two Russian-language cybercrime forums that provide Access-as-a-Service (AaaS) listings, and BreachForums, an English-language cybercrime forum and marketplace specializing in data leaks. All three sites have dedicated arbitration rooms. Despite this resolution process provoking occasional mayhem among the “plaintiffs and defendants,” with some accused criminals either going dark and not showing up, or calling the complainants themselves “rippers,” the practice of scammers scamming scammers is lucrative. During a 12-month period, Sophos examined approximately 600 scams that resulted in threat actors losing more than $2.5 million to each other, just on these three forums—with claims ranging from $2 to $160,000.
“While investigating cybercriminal scams, we stumbled upon an entire sub-economy that includes not just lower-tier…
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