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Cybercriminals can take a class on stealing credit cards

Author: SELENA LARSON / Source: WSLS

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SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) – Your credit card information is valuable, and for criminals who want to learn how to find and use it — there’s a class for that.

One six-week program, taught in Russian, includes lectures on finding legitimate credit card data for sale and hacking into PayPal accounts.

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Security firm Digital Shadows discovered the cybercrime class taught by five instructors and sold on a deep web forum. The class was revealed in research published Wednesday investigating credit card fraud and a criminal activity called “carding,” or stealing and using payment card data.

“The curriculum and rigor associated with it is not like most of the training materials that are out there,” Rick Holland, vice president of strategy at Digital Shadows, told CNN Tech. It’s more in-depth than other trainings, like PDFs that criminals can buy much cheaper.

The class, which costs about $945 with the materials, consists of 20 different lectures and allows the students to chat with the instructors.

Carding is a popular type of cybercrime. Thieves will steal credit card data from insecure databases, by hacking into companies or just buying it on the dark web on hidden sites you wouldn’t find with a Google search. Digital Shadows estimates $24 billion will be lost to credit card fraud next year.

Criminals can also take emails and passwords leaked from other data breaches, and test them on banking websites. For instance, credentials from LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Adobe have previously been leaked online.

According to Digital Shadows, the course recommends visiting one of six different sites to get credit card data. On two of those forums, more than 1.2 million card numbers were advertised for sale — nearly half of them in the U.S.…

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