Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Awesome Scams From 2008

Wired does a really good job of writing this article so I'll just link to it. Here's two fairly interesting excerpts, if you like these, you'll like the rest.

The Big Gulp

You're a Russian hacker who's just managed to crack a server that processes transactions from Citibank ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores. No fool, you suck down thousands of Citibank customers' account numbers and PIN codes. Only one problem remains: How best to monetize your hacking haul.

The solution: offshore it, of course. The hacker, identity unknown, farmed out the stolen data to confederates in America, who traveled from as far as Missouri to converge on the Citibank ATM supercluster known as New York City. Using blank cards programmed with the hacked account numbers, the gang managed to steal at least $2 million from Citibank accounts, sending 70% of the take back to mother Russia, before a lucky traffic stop unraveled the scheme. In the end, the FBI made ten arrests, including two Ukrainian immigrates with more than $800,000 each stashed in their closets. That's a lot of Slurpees.

The Big Rig

How do you run a profitable interstate trucking company without all the hassle of driving trucks? Step one: Visit the online "load boards" where brokers advertise cargo in need of transport and negotiate a deal to, for example, haul a load from California to Maryland for $3,500. Step two: hack into the Department of Transportation website that maintains the master list of licensed trucking companies, and change the contact information for a legitimate firm to an address and phone number you control.

Step three: Profit! Posing as the company whose identity you just stole, outsource your job to another trucking firm for whatever price it wants; when the load is delivered, collect your $3,500, leaving the company that actually drove the truck trying in vain to invoice the company you hijacked. Step four: Get a lawyer. In October, federal prosecutors charged Russian immigrants Nicholas Lakes and Viachelav Berkovich with computer fraud for allegedly pulling this scam over-and-over again, to the tune of $500,000.

The Seven Best Capers of 2008

From Wired

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