The world’s largest digital carding marketplace Joker’s Stash to shut down its operations from February 15, 2021.
Joker’s Stash Retiring in February
Joker’s Stash has announced that it will shut down all its operations on February 15, 2021. On Friday, the site administrator posted a message on several underground Russian-language cybercrime forums, which they frequently used to advertise the site’s services. The site operator, who uses the alias JokerStash, wrote that:
“Joker goes on a well-deserved retirement. Joker’s Stash is closing. When we opened years ago, nobody knew us. Today we are one of the largest cards/dumps marketplace[s].”
“It’s time for us to leave forever…and we will never ever open again.”
On the other hand, cybersecurity researchers at Gemini Advisory and Intel471 stated that Joker’s Stash would wipe all its backups and server operations within a month. However, the exact reason for the shutdown is yet undisclosed.
Reaction on the News
The announcement has received mixed feedback. Understandably, its members were disappointed that they will lose access to the marketplace. Those who were adversely affected by its operations were happy.
However, some hacking-oriented Telegram channels believe that the FBI has captured and detained Joker’s Stash. A few weeks back, the site’s blockchain domains were rendered unavailable temporarily and were replaced with a seizure notice from Interpol and the FBI. However, the site admins regained control soon.
What is Joker’s Stash?
It is the largest stolen card data buying and selling marketplace on the internet. It started in 2014, and within a short time span, it became the biggest operator in the underground payment card economy. The site generated $1 billion in revenues.
However, within the past six months, the site has been on a consistent decline. Still, it is considered one of the most profitable marketplaces in the world of cybercrimes.
As per Gemini Advisory’s Intelligence Production Analyst, Christopher Thomas, the service has made ‘hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit profits, although this money also goes to the vendors themselves.” In 2020, it posted over 8 million CNP/card not present and over 35 million CP/card present records for sale.
“In 2020, its major breaches have included BIGBADABOOM-III (which compromised Wawa), NIRVANA (which compromised both Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks and Champagne French Bakery Cafe), and BLAZINGSUN (which compromised Dickey’s Barbecue Pit),” Thomas added.
Joker’s Stash’ Turbulent Fall
The impending closure could be attributed to the not-so-promising fall that Joke Stash had experienced in the past few months. According to Intel 471’s blog post, the shop had a ‘turbulent close to 2020.’
In October, the site’s main operator contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized for a week. This impacted the site’s operations, including inventory replenishments.
Furthermore, the site’s customers have been complaining about the declining quality of its payment card data. The last nail in the coffin was probably the FBI and Interpol’s domain seizures in December 2020. The agencies seized four domains of the marketplace. It affected the site’s reputation exposing the marketplace’s vulnerable nature and the law enforcement’s increasing focus on the marketplace.
The site operations may not be accessible after a month, but this doesn’t mean the admins will become immune to prosecution.