A 21-year-old Dutch hacker known within the online hacking community as “Fortezza” was arrested in Romania in March, and extradited to the United States in June.
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan, who chairs the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement, said, “This defendant has wrought havoc on victims and financial institutions around the world, this indictment alleges that in just one transaction he trafficked in as many as 44,000 stolen credit card numbers resulting in millions of dollars in losses to financial institutions. Cybercriminals need to know: We will find you and prosecute you. I commend the cyber investigators at the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and Seattle Police Department for tracking down these international criminals.”
Hackers like “Fortezza” employ a variety of methods to obtain credit card data. One technique is wardriving, in which criminals hack into wireless networks and install spyware. Another is phishing, in which spoofed emails prompt the victim to enter account information. “Smishing” is similar to phishing, but with text messages instead of emails. Some hackers use keylogging software to spy on victims’ PCs, while others affix devices to the faces of ATMs and gas pumps in order to skim credit and debit card data.
All this stolen data is ultimately used to steal from financial institutions, which lose $40 billion a year to credit card fraud, and from retailers. These business fraud targets must employ multiple layers of protection to thwart cybercriminals.
One layer that businesses put upfront in their fraud detection process is based on device intelligence—what that device is doing right now on the site, and what fraud or abuse that device has caused with other businesses, even in other geographies. The leader in device identification technology is iovation, and they offer a fraud prevention service that allows online businesses to create customized business rules for identifying potentially risky transactions, and those rules can be adjusted on the fly as new threats emerge.