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16 November

Group-IB: New set of Pakistani banks’ card dumps goes on sale

Group-IB, an international company that specializes in preventing cyber attacks, discovered another large set of compromised payment cards details that was put on sale on Joker’s Stash, one of the most popular underground hubs of stolen card data, on Nov. 13. The new set of dumps, unauthorized digital copies of the information contained in magnetic stripe of a bank card, came with the payment details of 177,878 cards from Pakistani and other international banks.

On November 13, Group-IB Threat Intelligence system detected an abnormal spike in Pakistani banks’ dаta offered for sale on one of the card shops: a new set of dumps was uploaded to Joker’s Stash. The file was initially put on sale under the name PAKISTAN-WORLD-EU-MIX-03 (fresh skimmeD EU base): PAKISTAN/WORLD/EU TR1+TR2, uploaded 2018.11.13 (NON-REFUNDABLE BASE). Slightly later the name of the dаtabase with dumps was changed to «PAKISTAN-WORLD-EU-MIX-03 (fresh skimmeD EU base): PAKISTAN/WORLD/EU TR1+TR2, uploaded 2018.11.13 (time for refunds: 3 hours)». Presumably, originally, the seller did not want to allow refunding purchased cards, but he later decided to give its potential buyers some time to test the reliability and value of dаta on sale.

Card dumps are usually obtained by using skimming devices and through Trojans infecting workstations connected to POS terminals. The large part of compromised card dаta is sold in specialized card shops, such as Joker’s Stash. Group-IB Threat Intelligence continuously detects and analyses dаta uploaded to card shops all over the world. According to Group-IB’s annual Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2018 report, on average, from June 2017 to August 2018, 1.8 million were uploaded to card shops monthly. Group-IB’s records indicate that card dumps account for 62% of total sets of card dаta sold, which means that POS Trojans represent the major method of compromising credit cards and might have caused this particular leak.

Dmitry Shestakov

Dmitry Shestakov

Head of Group-IB сybercrime research unit

The total amount of dumps that went on sale on Nov. 13 was amounted to 177,878: there were 150,632 dumps of Pakistani banks, 16,227 cards of other regions’ banks and 11,019 dumps of undefined banks. The banks affected by this breach included major Pakistani financial organizations such as, Habib Bank, MCB Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited and many others. Habib Bank was affected most by the breach: roughly 20% of cards (30 034) in the uploaded dаtabase was issued by this bank. It is also worth noting, that there were no card dumps of BankIslami up for sale this time.

What is interesting about this particular leak is that the dаtabase that went on sale hadn’t been announced prior either in the news, on card shop or even on forums on the dark net. The market value of this dаtabase is estimated at $19.9 million. The sale price for these card dumps ranges from $17 to $160. However, it is very rare, that Pakistani banks’ cards come on sale on the dark net card shops. In the past six months it was the only big sale of Pakistani banks’ dаta.

Dmitry Shestakov

Dmitry Shestakov

Head of Group-IB сybercrime research unit

Prior to this dаta leak, Group-IB experts detected two consecutive Pakistani banks’ compromised cards uploads to Joker’s Stash. The first one occurred on Oct. 26, when new dump identified as «PAKISTAN-WORLD-EU-MIX-01» went on sale on Joker’s Stash card shop. This dump dаtabase had 10,467 payment cards details, 8,704 of which belongedto Pakistani banks, including BankIslami. The breach might have caused the compromise of BankIslami account holders that took place on Oct. 27. The set of dumps was valued at $1.1 million with sale price ranging from $35 to $150. Another set under the name «PAKISTAN-WORLD-EU-MIX-02 (fresh skimmeD EU base) : PAKISTAN/WORLD/EU TR1+TR2» was published on Joker’s Stash on Oct. 31. This time, the database had 11,795 cards issued by the leading Pakistani and other regions’ banks: 710 dumps from undefined banks and 1,031 cards from the banks outside of Pakistan. No BankIslami cards dumps were published in the set.

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