Published: May 30, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
Chalk one up for the good guys. A major underground store selling stolen payment card information for over four years has been hacked. Called BriansClub, the store has been infamous for stealing card numbers from brick-and-mortar stores since 2015. Flashpoint estimates BriansClub held $414 million worth of credit cards for sale at various prices ranging from $20 to over $1000. The more opportunity for financial theft with the card, the higher the price. The good news is the veritable feast of stolen data was recently hacked back by do-gooders who reclaimed the data from over 26 million cards that were pilfered and put up for sale on BriansClub.
Most of the re-stolen cards involved information hackers used to create fake magstripe cards. The cards were then used to purchase goods in person at retail stores. Although magstripe technology is going the way of the dinosaur and being replaced by chip cards, there’s still plenty of them around to do serious damage. It’s estimated each bogus card stole a minimum of $500, adding up to nearly $4 billion in losses over four years. Of the 26 million stolen cards for sale on BriansClub, many may have expired over time, but it’s believed over 14 million cards could still be valid.
Since we can’t always count on do-gooders to take back our stolen payment card data, it’s up to every individual to keep their cards safe. If you’re still using magstripe cards, consider contacting the retailer and have them replaced with chip cards. That will disable sites like BriansClub from duplicating the magstripe and shopping with your money. Keeping close tabs on payment cards can prevent a lot of heartache. Check payment card statements and report any purchases that look remotely odd or suspicious. Contacting the retailer or financial institution immediately will put a freeze on card purchases, essentially disabling the card from further use. Also, regularly checking your credit for the unexpected provides another helpful window into your financial status. In a world where cyber superheroes are hard to come by, being your own hero is well worth it.
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