Chat channels make online fraud easier
On a recent Tuesday morning, one Internet chat group called #ccpower was bustling.
A user there was selling credit- card numbers, obtained illegally online, for 50 cents to $1 each. Another was accusing other sellers of stolen credit-card numbers of cheating, and yet another user wanted lessons on cracking into online sites containing credit-card information.
Internet chat groups, particularly those using a format called Internet relay chat, or IRC, now play an important and growing role in online credit-card fraud, according to a report released this month by a group of Internet security experts who form the Honeynet Project. The project sets up computer systems called honeynets that are intended to be easy to infiltrate in order to monitor and record how hackers work.
Online credit-card fraud has generally been carried out by hackers operating on their own, without much organization or automation of their schemes, the group says. But that appears to be changing.
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