The longest-running marketplace for stolen credit cards on the darknet has announced the shutting down of its services. The administrator of Joker’s Stash, founded in 2014, stated that the site would be taken down in February.
Site Generated Over $1 Billion in BTC ‘Over the Past Years,’ Claims a Security Research Firm
According to the announcement made through its forum, the admin known as “Jokerstash” stated that “it’s time for us to leave forever.” Stash’s users could spend their account balances until Feb. 15, before the admin proceeds to “wipe all our servers and backups.”
Jokerstash made it clear that they will “never ever open again.” However, the admin didn’t provide more details on the motivation behind the closure.
According to the figures revealed by Gemini Advisory, the site has been one of the most profitable marketplaces on the darknet. Over the past years, Joker’s Stash generated more than $1 billion in bitcoin (BTC) revenue, said the report.
Possible Reasons Behind the Marketplace’s Closure
Although the closure’s announcement didn’t reveal details on the reasons behind the decision, Gemini Advisory has some hypotheses. One of them is the recent bitcoin’s price spike across the markets, as Jokerstash is an early bitcoin advocate. The firm detailed:
This actor was already likely to be among the wealthiest cybercriminals, and the spike may have multiplied their fortune, earning them enough money to retire. However, the true reason behind this shutdown remains unclear.
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However, the FBI and Interpol’s pressure on the marketplace could have added some weight to the admin’s decision. In 2020, law enforcement seized the web domains and blockchain addresses tied to Joker’s Stash. The admin also claimed to have caught coronavirus in October.
Over the past year, Gemini Advisory stated that the darknet marketplace added more than 40 million new stolen card records, most of them from physical transactions at a point-of-sale. Meanwhile, stolen online payment data came from Magecart breaches or phishing incidents.
On Jan. 12, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the authorities in seven countries and Europol jointly took down Darkmarket, one of the largest darknet marketplaces. The action was taken after the marketplace’s alleged operator was arrested in Germany.
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