Joker’s Stash, the world’s largest stolen bank card market, to close

The operators of Joker’s Stash have decided to retire on February 15. Their credit card black market was one of the most famous, for over 6 years.

To withdraw before it is too late: this is the principle that seems to follow “JokerStash”, the operator of the eponymous bank card black market. In a message analyzed by companies Gemini and Intel471, he announced that the sales forum would cease its activity on February 15, 2021. Created in 2014, Joker’s Stash has established itself as one of, if not the main, stolen bank card exchange (some do not sell only the information, others also provide the map itself), and enjoyed unparalleled fame. According to The Hacker News, the black market has generated over $ 1 billion in revenue since its inception.

On Joker’s Stash, buyers could purchase bank cards. // Source: Pxhere

This form of notice will in particular allow buyers to empty their wallets on the platform, and thus prevent them from losing their unspent bitcoins. In anticipation, JokerStash is already announcing: “WE WILL NEVER REOPEN, don’t believe future impostors”.

A favorable environment for early retirement for cybercriminals

The operator does not give the precise reasons for the closure, but the analysts develop several hypotheses, which can be combined:

  • Joker’s Stash closes before law enforcement does. Last month, the FBI and Interpol managed to seize sixteen proxy servers used for the proper functioning of the site. Direct consequence: it was no longer possible to connect to it. The owners of the platform repaired the damage and then tried to reassure their users by explaining that the seized servers contained neither bank card data nor user data. But maybe this push was enough for them to want to withdraw, before law enforcement found a way to step up and stop them. The latter proved at the beginning of January that they were capable of dismantling a black market, despite the protections and precautions of the hosts.
  • Was Joker’s Stash on the decline? After the successful operation of the police, the reputation of the site, until then apparently untouchable, took a hit. According to Hacker News, users complained of a ” severe decline »The volume of cards stolen on the site, and the decline in the quality of data sold. Then, at the end of October, the site had started to no longer function correctly. The official reason given by the cybercriminals: the administrator of the platform would have caught Covid-19 disease and spent over a week in the hospital. What to decrease a little more confidence in the site.
  • The price of bitcoin has reached such highs that operators have grown considerably in a few weeks. This is one of Gemini’s theories. With peak at $ 40,000 bitcoin, the money earned via the platform’s commissions has therefore gained in value, especially since JokerStash has always been a defender of bitcoin. ” This actor was surely already one of the richest cybercriminals, and the peak could have multiplied their fortune, and have offered them enough money to retire. », Develop the researchers.

According to ZDNet, in 2020 the site organized the sale of more than 43 million bank cards. This traffic should be redirected to other black markets in the days to come.

Source: Numerama by

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