DUBAI: A service set up to protect cyber criminals from being ‘ripped off’ by their fellow criminal cohort has recently identified the 1,000thculprit that has failed to come up with the goods. Ripper.cc was formed in June 2016 and is the only known service to keep a database of known ‘rippers’ – those who rob others on the dark web and other criminal marketplaces. Digital Shadows has been tracking the service since its inception.
Rippers are a major problem for those participating in the cybercrime economy as they often sell fake social media credentials; invalid or used stolen credit cards and steal money by not delivering promised services and goods. Ripper CC is designed to address this issue and keeps profile information includes contact and identification information, as well as the details of the specific fraud the ripper is accused of. A recent innovation has even seen it develop a plug in for Jabber – the instant messaging tool of choice between cyber criminals – to alert the participant if they are talking to someone flagged on the Ripper database.
“Ripper.cc is another example of the industrialization of hacking and the growing professionalism of cybercrime. If such a service becomes successful, it enables cyber criminals to significantly reduce the risks associated with rippers and the overall cybercrime economy can become more profitable allowing for further growth,” said Michael Marriott, security researcher at Digital Shadows. Services like this help negate a problem for cyber criminals – that when using marketplaces profits decrease for ‘legitimate’ buyers and sellers, and slow down transactions making cyberattacks less lucrative.
What is intriguing for the security observer is that the people offering the Ripper.cc service have already developed Firefox and Chrome extensions to enable functionality to operate across as many forums and marketplaces as possible. In addition, they are looking to monetize the service in a manner that appears to mirror legitimate business models. Ripper.cc is another example of the industrialization of cybercrime. If such a service becomes successful, it enables cyber criminals to significantly reduce the risks associated with rippers and the overall cybercrime economy can become more profitable allowing for further growth and more attacks on legitimate businesses in the region.