Security Experts:

New Russian Service Selling Access to Compromised Accounts

According to Webroot’s Dancho Danchev, a service targeting Russian and Ukrainian users, is offering access to compromised social networking and email accounts.

Cybercrime Forums Selling Credentials

“Recently, I came across a new Russian service offering access to compromised accounts across multiple social networks such as Vkontakte, Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and last but not least, compromised email accounts. What’s particularly interesting about this service is the fact that it’s exclusively targeting Russian and Ukrainian users,” Danchev wrote.  

As an example, criminals are selling accounts at a rate of $2.75 for 50; where 95% of them are active Russian users. For $6.00, one can purchase access to 500 Russian Facebook accounts, or spend $7.00 and get access to 500 Russian Twitter accounts.

“How is the service getting access to these compromised credentials in the first place? Next to social engineering attacks and brute-forcing, on a daily basis cybercriminals persistently data mine botnets for stolen email, social network, VPN, FTP and SSH accounting data in an attempt to further abuse it by launching additional attacks on the top of it,” Danchev added.

In the end, the blog post explains, a service such as the one discovered, amounts to a gateway for new criminals looking to use social engineering attacks. If successful, the hopefuls will exploit the trust relationships formed online, adding to their list of victims.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.