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Rival Cyber-Criminals Fighting for Card-Skimming Information in Internet Turf War

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 23, 2018 10:30 AM

Not a lot has changed from the 1860s turf war portrayed in Gangs of New York, when Daniel Day-Lewis stabbed his opponent in the back.

Sure, rival gangs don't battle with hatchets in the streets anymore. From petty thief to mass-murderer, modern criminals seek their prey on virtual turf.

That's why two hacker groups are warring for control in the card-skimming wars. The gangs may have evolved, but the victims are still the same.

Cyber-Gang Wars

Payment card skimming is a booming industry for cyber-criminals. It has become so lucrative in the past six months, two competing groups are wrestling for control of a vulnerable site.

According to reports, a sportswear website was infected by two rival skimmer groups. One gang planted a script on the site to hijack payment information.

Then a second gang exploited the website with a more advanced script. Like a knife in the back, it was encoded in a way to prevent other programs from seeing what it did to the rival script.

"By contaminating the first group's cache of stolen data with so many bad numbers, the second group is actively -- and likely successfully -- sabotaging its rival's operations," reported Ars Technica.

Cyber-crime Evolution

The sabotage goes deep into the dark web, where cyber-criminals traffic in stolen information. In the card-skimming war, the unwitting rival will try to sell its contaminated information in the black marketplace.

Would-be buyers will then discover the information is bad, and that will cripple the competition. It' enough to start another generation of gang wars.

Some things never change. As they say, there is no honor among thieves.

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