Homepage > Africa > Content of article

The taxi rental software you are familiar with is being used by criminals in the United States for money laundering.

Source: Red Star News

According to NBC, cybercriminals are using new technology to launder money, including experts who hire fake Uber drivers, black-hearted Airbnb landlords and dark networks for encryption conversion.

In addition, some traditional money laundering methods are still being used by criminals. This includes purchasing a gift card and then reselling it online at a lower price. Insiders of the bank use a legal account and credit line to filter criminal funds.  

Taking a taxi and renting a software into a new tool for criminal money laundering

According to the ABC Financial Channel (CNBC), Ziv Mador, an expert on network security company Trustwave, said that whitewashing the proceeds of crime is critical to the expansion of cybercrime. In fact, if you have been stolen on the Internet or your credit card has been hacked, your money may eventually be washed out in these ways.

Mador said that theft of network funds is often caused by large-scale data breaches due to new variants of malware. It's like a cat-and-mouse game, where white-hat hackers continue to strengthen defenses, and black-hat hackers constantly adjust to bypass defense. But the loss of these funds on the network, such as the attack on the network or the illegal theft of funds, is very important to understand how cybercrime works.  

The money laundering techniques used by cybercriminals are often different from other types of money laundering techniques. Mador explained that this is because the money laundering techniques and methods of cybercrime can be quickly shared and traded through the dark network. Cybercriminals are very active on the dark net, so they will continue to develop new ways to launder money.  

Mador said that at least in the past two years, cybercriminals have increasingly used money-laundering applications such as Uber and Airbnb to legalize illegally acquired funds.  

In this scam, criminals first call a good Uber driver in advance through a taxi software. The driver takes the order, but the passenger (criminal) does not show up, but uses the stolen Credit card payment for the fare. The driver then remits part of the fare back to the offender.

Mador said that advertisements for recruiting Uber drivers to help with money laundering are usually posted on the dark.  

A Uber spokesperson said that Uber had taken some measures to crack down on this money laundering behavior for the first time. In 2016, Uber increased the research and development of fraud detection technology. The spokesperson said that since then, Uber taxi software has been used to money laundering index has fallen to historical lows.

But he admits that Uber software is being used to launder money is still a problem. In response to this situation, the company often works with US law enforcement agencies, including a plan to combat fake passengers, because 13 people were arrested in New York in 2017.  

Public Recruitment Ads posted on the Dark Network

This spokesperson said that the money laundering method used by fraudsters involves overseas crimes. Overseas criminals place orders through taxi software. Uber drivers receive orders and complete credit cards stolen from criminals through taxi software. The fee is charged and some of them are remitted to the hands of overseas criminals.

This approach is attractive to Uber drivers because they think they can get paid without actually carrying passengers. The spokesperson said, but what they didn't realize was that it was not only to deceive the Uber platform, but also to telecommunication fraud. These drivers are legally responsible.

Mador explained that criminals used a similar scheme on Airbnb. They usually post advertisements for recruiting landlords on the dark network, and after receiving the response, they complete the money laundering process with the landlord. But those landlords did not receive real guests, and once the money was washed through Airbnb's system, the landlord would return a portion of the income to cybercriminals.  

In an advertisement from Trustwave to recruit Airbnb landlords, a cybercriminal said he was looking for a real Airbnb landlord or homeowner to do money laundering. This ad was posted on the dark in May 2018.  

Airbnb said in a statement that Airbnb takes its responsibility as a financial ecosystem participant and develops complex models, systems and processes to detect and prevent all forms of abuse and illegal activities.

In addition to the platform's own combat control, Airbnb works with financial institutions, regulators and law enforcement agencies to identify new trends in potential illegal activities and share information to combat illegal activities.  

Criminal agents also clean illegal bitcoin

In addition to the new money laundering methods mentioned above, cybercriminals continue to use traditional money laundering methods, especially bank remittances and gift cards.

Products like the iPhone are popular, and criminals buy a lot of iPhones with dirty money, sell them at very low discounts, and put clean money in their pockets.  

Virtual currency payment processors are also popular, a way to generate revenue from network initiatives such as ransomware. Such processors typically allow funds to be paid in cryptocurrency, masking the source of cash through multiple transaction layers.  

Professional criminals also offer a variety of methods to clean up illegally acquired bitcoins in the dark web chat room.

Madoer introduced one of the ways to use a blender, which divides Bitcoin into multiple accounts for transfer and eventually remits it to a clean account outside of the darknet. The mixer service provider makes this way of whitewashing illegal virtual currency a profitable illegal business by charging a service fee.

Red Star News reporter 丨Jiang Yijin Compilation report

Latest International News