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US Announces Takedown of Card-Checking Service, Charges Against Russian Operator

The US announces charges against Denis Gennadievich Kulkov, the creator and operator of card-checking platform Try2Check since 2005 until it was taken down this week.

The US Department of Justice this week announced the takedown of card-checking platform ‘Try2Check’ and charges against its Russian administrator.

The individual, Denis Gennadievich Kulkov, 43, created the platform in 2005 and operated it until the takedown. The US is offering a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture.

According to the indictment (PDF), Try2Check was created as a service for cybercriminals who sold and purchased stolen credit cards in bulk, allowing them to check whether the cards were valid and active. Cybercriminals then used the results to advertise the valid credit card numbers they had for sale.

Authorities estimate that the platform was processing tens of millions of card numbers on a yearly basis, enabling the illicit credit card trade through major card shops. The platform charged $0.20 per check, in Bitcoin.

Also known as Try2Services, Try2Check relied on unauthorized access to a US-based payment processing company’s servers to perform the checks, the indictment alleges.

The US took the card-checking platform’s websites offline this week, working together with German and Austrian authorities.

According to the indictment, Kulkov made over $18 million in Bitcoin, which he used to purchase luxury items, including a Ferrari. However, it is unclear how much he made from the scheme, as he also received proceeds through other payment systems.

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Kulkov was charged with access device fraud, computer intrusion, and money laundering. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Related: Cybercrime Marketplace Leaks Over 2.1 Million Payment Cards

Related: Russian Operator of Cybercrime Marketplace Indicted in US

Related: Underground Carding Marketplace Joker’s Stash Announces Shutdown

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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