Thousands at risk of fraud after data theft

Press Association
close up of a credit or debit...
close up of a credit or debit...

Thousands of British bank customers are at risk of fraud because of a website offering a "one-stop shop" for people to buy credit card details stolen by hackers, it was reported today.

Channel 4 News said it had been in touch with the site's owners, who not only defended its activities but claimed the fraudsters using it are "virtually untraceable".

The report said the site offers an eBay-style service for hacked financial data - and anyone can buy a stolen card for as little as £8.

Watch Channel 4's report in full: Article continues below

Hack a Card - Any Card? Credit Card Details for Sale
Hack a Card - Any Card? Credit Card Details for Sale

In anonymous instant messages, the site's owner told Channel 4 News: "Pay using anonymous payment ... buy dumps (hacker slang for credit card data) from around the world and use it. This is virtually untraceable. We've got thousands of feedback on various forums (sic). We don't need to prove anything to anyone." is not hidden in the "dark web" but is openly accessible and easier to use than many online shops, the report said.

Visitors simply specify their chosen country, pick a card type from among Visa, MasterCard and American Express, then choose a bank.

Channel 4 News said it found thousands of cards from every one of the UK's major high street banks on the site, including HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.

It costs around £8 for a standard card, and around £12 for a gold card. Once added to a user's basket, the cards are paid for using bitcoin, a virtual currency known for its ability to hide buyers' identities.

Joanne Smith, from Britain, had no idea her card had been compromised until Channel 4 News told her, and neither did her bank. She has now cancelled it.

She said: "It's actually not a card I use often, that's why I was quite taken aback by it. As soon as I saw it was this card I was really shocked. It doesn't make you feel very secure that someone knew my name out there, someone had my card details. It makes you feel very vulnerable."

The site's .cc internet address means it is registered in the Cocos Keeling Islands, a tiny archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

Channel 4 News said the company responsible for overseeing .cc internet addresses is the US technology giant Verisign, which not only oversees .com and .net websites but also offers tech security services.

Verisign told Channel 4 News that it "takes all reports very seriously and responds to lawful court orders from courts of competent jurisdiction. We respond within our technical capabilities".

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