New set of Pakistani banks’ card dumps goes on sale on the dark web

Pierluigi Paganini November 17, 2018

According to the head of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing.almost all Pakistani banks were affected by a recent security breach.

Group-IB experts 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 the other international banks.

On November 13, Group-IB Threat Intelligence system detected an abnormal spike in Pakistani banks’ data 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 database 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 data 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 data is sold in specialized card shops, such as Joker’s Stash. Group-IB Threat Intelligence continuously detects and analyses data uploaded to card shops all over the world,” – said Dmitry Shestakov, Head of Group-IB сybercrime research unit.

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 data sold, which means that POS Trojans represent the major method of compromising credit cards and might have caused this particular leak.

The total amount of dumps that went on sale on Nov. 13 was amounted to 177,878:  there were 150,632dumps of Pakistani banks, 16,227 cards of other regions’ banks and 11,019 dumps of undefined banks.

Pakistani 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 database 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 database that went on sale hadn’t been announced prior either in the news, on card shop or even on forums on the dark net – comments Dmitry Shestakov.  The market value of this database 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’ data.”

Prior to this data 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 database had 10,467 payment cards details, 8,704 of which belonged to 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 data on 11,795 cards issued by the leading Pakistani and other regions’ banks: 710 dumps from undefined banks and 1,031 dumps from the banks outside of Pakistan. No BankIslami cards dumps were published in the set.

About the author Group-IB

Group-IB is one the world’s leading providers of solutions aimed at detection and prevention of cyber attacks, fraud exposure and protection of intellectual property on the Internet. GIB Threat Intelligence cyber threats data collection system has been named one of the best in class by Gartner, Forrester, and IDC.

Group-IB’s technological leadership is built on company’s fifteen years of hands-on experience in cybercrime investigations all over the world and 55 000 hours of cyber security incident response accumulated in the largest forensic laboratory in Eastern Europe and a round-the-clock centre providing a rapid response to cyber incidents—CERT-GIB.

Group-IB is a partner of INTERPOL, Europol, and a cybersecurity solutions provider, recommended by SWIFT and OSCE.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Dark Web,  Pakistani banks)

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