DarkCyber for July 16, 2019, Now Available

July 16, 2019

This week’s program is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/348009146. The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web, cybercrime, and lesser known Internet services.

This week’s story line up includes: An Australian teen with 20,000 LSD doses; a money laundering operation run within a Florida prison; a how to guide for credit card fraudsters; Facebook’s digital currency triggers domain name land rush; and Interpol smashes a global child sex crime operation.

This week’s lead story talks about Facebook’s digital currency. Regulators in the US have expressed some reservations about what could be considered a sovereign currency. Facebook’s effort to unify its messaging applications and integrate encryption into the service poses one additional hurdle for investigators. The proposed digital currency called Libra may enable seamless, friction free financial transactions within the encrypted Facebook system. Bad actors are likely to test the system to find ways to use Facebook for illegal activities. Messaging apps can provide access to digital content like pirated videos, child pornography, commercial software with its security compromised, and similar digital contraband.

Other stories in the July 16, 2019, program are:

First, an Australian teenager used the Dark Web to purchase LSD, a controlled substance. The Australian Joint Agency Strike Team monitored the teenager’s activity which included setting up a mail drop in the central business district of Adelaide. When police moved in, they seized 20,000 doses or “tabs” of LSD. The contraband had an estimated street value of US$200,000. The legal representative of the alleged drug dealer pointed out that the young man had good family support. The teen also had knowledge of the Dark Web, a mail drop, and the 20,000 LSD tabs.

Second, Terbium Labs issued a new report which provides information about credit card fraud. For security professionals, the report is a concise review of key factors. To an individual looking for a primer explaining credit card fraud or “carding” the Terbium report is an interesting resource. Terbium points out that lesson plans for would be credit card fraudsters are available on the Dark Web. Most of the instructional material and guides cost between $4 and $13. Similar information can be located using Regular Web search engines. DarkCyber reveals that Yandex.com offers both current credit card fraud instruction guides as well as direct links to explanatory videos. This type of information may pose a dilemma for public search engines. For an individual seeking information about how to perform financial fraud, the abundance of available information is remarkable for its scope and its ready availability.

Third, convicted criminals in Pasco Country, Florida, operated a money laundering scheme from their cells. The angle was to obtain stolen credit cards from a Dark Web marketplace and transfer money from the credit card to a prisoner’s personal commissary account. Many US prisons allow inmates to purchase snacks and approved items from this prison store. Once the money was in a prisoner’s account, the ringleader then submitted a request for the prison to transfer the money to the account of an individual who was not in prison. Investigators identified the prisoners involved in the scheme, arrested one person who acted as an accomplice, and identified seven other individuals involved the the operation. A total of $8,000 was stolen in 40 separate transactions.

Finally, DarkCyber reports that Interpol’s Blackwrist investigated a global child sex crime operation. Dozens of individuals were arrested. One pedophile has been sentenced to more than 100 years in a Thailand prison. Others snared in the sweep are allegedly individuals who have abused children, some as young as 15 months. Blackwrist continues its investigations and more arrests are expected.

Kenny Toth, July 16, 2019

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