Prototype Nation, The Chinese Cybercriminal Underground in 2015



By the end of 2013, the Chinese cybercrime underground was a very busy economy, with peddled wares that not only targeted PCs, but mobile devices as well—making it its most prolific segment. We also saw cybercriminals abusing popular Web services such as the instant-messaging app (IM), QQ, to communicate with peers.

Today, the Chinese underground is thriving more than ever. Data (either leaked or stolen) are now being traded along with prototypes and new functional hardware, like point-of-sales (PoS) and automated teller machine (ATM) skimmers.

Trend Micro’s report “Prototype Nation: The Chinese Cybercriminal Underground in 2015” offers a detailed look into the burgeoning Chinese underground and its operations.

Some key highlights of this paper:

·         PoS skimmers - Tampered PoS devices are sold to resellers who may or may not know that these devices are rigged. Some PoS skimmers come with an SMS-notification feature that allows the cybercriminal to access the stolen data remotely every time the device is used.
·         ATM skimmers –Commonly sold on B2B websites, these fraud-enabling devices allowed fraudsters to carry out bank fraud and actual theft. The devices have keypad overlays that are used to steal victims’ PINs.
·         Pocket skimmers – These small, unnoticeable magnetic card readers can store track data of up to 2,048 payment cards. They do not need to be physically connected to a computer or a power supply to work. All captured data can be downloaded onto a connected computer.

The report is also available for viewing here.

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