Underground stolen card forum announces when it will close down, give no reason

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Cybersecurity consulting firm Gemini Advisory has found that Joker’s Stash, the dark network card marketplace, will be shut down by next month. Their blog has a message from the notorious marketplace administrator who said that he was now retired.

The explanation for the abrupt decision to close the forum remains unclear. However, Gemini Advisory’s research team claimed that Joker’s Stash administrator was an early promoter of Bitcoin, who seemingly kept all proceeds to the currency. In the middle of the crypto rally, the suspected cyber-criminal may have benefited enough from the bull run that allowed the actor to retire.

According to a transcript, the administrator of the underground payment card forum claimed:

“Joker goes on a well-deserved retirement. Joker’s Stash is closing. When we opened years ago, nobody knew us. Today we are one of the largest cards/dumps marketplace[s].”

The operator even called out to “partners of Stash” to contact the actor to collect their payouts before “we leave forever.”

Image Source: Gemini Advisory

The marketplace has been in existence since 2014, making it one of the longest recognised dark web companies. Gemini Advisory reported that Joker’s Stash created around $1 billion in revenue over the years. More than 40 million new documents were officially added in 2020 alone, and most of these were tracked back to massive cyber attacks.

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The forum was in trouble when darknet users protested about the low nature of stolen card details. Many of these cards, too, “did not work.”

Apart from a diminishing number of customers, Joker’s Stash was investigated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which confiscated the blockchain addresses in 2020. But, then, the forum operators were able to launch the site soon enough.

Additionally, the administrator or “Joker’’ claimed to pause the forum’s activities after falling sick from the coronavirus, which further impacted the site’s popularity.

But the end of the carding forum does not mean all all practises will be prevented. Moreover, in the past, even crackdowns on those markets have had no effect on criminal dark web operations. Researchers conclude that Joker’s Stash customers will not be affected by this growth and may continue to do business elsewhere.

Recently, another dark web market place that sold stolen card information and other illicit products has been lost. Germany’s local cybercrime officials have taken down DarkMarket’s server and are now holding its operator in custody.

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