UniCC is Retiring

10060395072?profile=RESIZE_400xUniCC, the biggest dark web marketplace for stolen credit and debit cards, has announced that it is closing its operations after earning $358 million in purchases since 2013 using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and Dash.  It operated since 2014 and offers credit cards of all brands (Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Diner’s Club).  It is also one of the most popular markets because it updates very frequently with new offers.

“Our team retires. Thanks to everyone who has been part of us…”  The email message from UniCC that was recently sent to their confederates.  "Don't build any conspiracy theories about us leaving," the anonymous operators of UniCC said in a farewell posted on dark web carding forums, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. "It is [a] weighted decision, we are not young and our health do[es] not allow [us] to work like this any longer."

The UniCC team also gave its users 10 days to spend their balances, while also warning customers to "not follow any fakes tied to our comeback."  Platforms such as UniCC function as an underground marketplace wherein credit card details stolen from online retailers, banks, and payments companies by injecting malicious skimmers are trafficked in exchange for cryptocurrency.  The cards are then used by criminal actors to purchase high-value items or gift cards.[1]

"This process is known as 'carding,' and it has become a key part of the cybercriminal's playbook," Elliptic researchers said.  "The technique is very profitable in its own right, but it is also used to help launder and cash-out cryptocurrency obtained through other types of cybercrime."

The closure comes exactly a year after Joker's Stash, the previous market leader, announced its retirement in January 2021 after having facilitated the sale of nearly $400 million in stolen cards.  The demise of Joker's Stash worked to UniCC's benefit, which quickly snapped up the top spot with a 30% market share, the researchers noted.

10060395475?profile=RESIZE_584xIt is also the latest in a growing list of criminal marketplaces to have voluntarily closed shop over the past year, including that of White House Market, Cannazon, and Torrez. This was followed by Monopoly Market, which became inaccessible early this month in what's suspected to be an exit scam.  The illicit market for stolen credit card data has become so lucrative that sales have surpassed 1.4 billion just in Bitcoin, paving the way for new entrants to the space that tend to swiftly fill the vacuum left by defunct criminal entities in a manner that mirrors the ever-evolving ransomware landscape.

Red Sky Alliance is a Cyber Threat Analysis and Intelligence Service organization who has long collected and analyzed transportation cyber indicators.  For questions, comments or assistance, please contact the office directly at 1-844-492-7225, or feedback@wapacklabs.com     



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[1] https://thehackernews.com/2022/01/dark-webs-largest-marketplace-for.html

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