The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has reportedly taken down four major illegal Dark Web sites, which have made over $260 million in cryptocurrency proceeds from the sale of stolen credit cards. Those platforms are Ferum Shop, Trump’s Dumps, Sky-Fraud forum, and UAS Store.
The Latest Seizures
Known as “carding” websites, these illicit platforms offer stolen credit cards, and buyers can purchase them with premium gift cards, luxury goods, or (as in this case) cryptocurrencies.
The blockchain analysis provider Elliptic revealed that the four Russian websites collectively made around $263 million in digital assets from their illegal transactions. The three most employed cryptocurrencies were Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).
According to the analysis, Ferum Shop alone accounted for $256 million in BTC from stolen credit cards since October 2013. This comprises approximately 17% of that illicit market. However, providing precise figures is difficult since Ferum Shop has employed a “sporadic use of payment processor” over the years, Elliptic stated.
Trump’s Dumps, which infamously used former President Donald Trump’s image for its branding, raked in about $4.1 million since 2017. The platform specialized in selling raw magnetic strip data from compromised cards – commonly referred to as “dumps.”
Sky-Fraud forum, where criminals held discussions on “carding” techniques and money laundering tips, was also shut down. The Russian authorities even left a message on the platform saying: “Which one of you is next?”
The UAS Store – a popular seller of stolen remote desktop protocol (RDP) credentials – was the fourth website law enforcement agencies took down. It accounted for $3 million in digital asset proceeds, of which $862,000 was made during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Less than a month ago, the authorities halted the operations of UniCC and LuxSocks. The “carding” websites made a total of $372 million in cryptocurrencies during their existence.
How Much Crypto Do Russians Own?
Russia’s lawmakers, who have been highly indecisive on their crypto stance, recently announced they will impose regulations on the asset class and not ban it. This should be considered good news for the growing number of local investors.
According to some estimations, Russians collectively own around $214 billion worth of digital assets. The figure represents nearly 12% of the market’s entire value.
However, Anton Siluanov – Russia’s Finance Minister – assumed that this number was significantly exaggerated. He suggested that local investors hold approximately $26 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.