Cybercrime Joker Retires With A Reported $2.1 Billion In Bitcoin

The most popular stolen payment card marketplace on the dark web is no more. The criminal behind the Joker’s Stash site, which trades in stolen credit and debit card data, has announced that all servers and backups will be wiped, and the site will never open again. That criminal, who unsurprisingly goes by the pseudonym of ‘JokerStash’ or Joker for short, has shut up shop and is going into retirement. A rather comfortable retirement, assuming Interpol and the FBI don’t catch up with them, with a reported $2.1 billion (£1.5 billion) in Bitcoin.

Joker’s Stash was the biggest of the carding sites on the dark web. Carding being the process of not just selling that stolen card data, but also enabling criminals to launder their illicit cryptocurrency balances. The stolen card data is used to buy gift cards or other easily traded items which are then sold on for cash. In 2019, I reported how a single payment card database, of more than a million market fresh cards in total, was being offered for sale at $130 million (£93 million.)

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In a January dark web blog posting, the Joker warned customers of the infamous carding site that it would shut up shop for good on February 15. However, according to financial crime compliance blockchain analysis specialists Elliptic, the site went down on February 3.

As you might imagine, this will not have pleased those customers who thought they had 12 more days to cash out their crypto balances. Although it hasn’t been possible to determine exactly how much money these cyber-criminals may have lost, the reverse is not true: Elliptic analysts have calculated the size of the Joker’s retirement pot based on incoming crypto payments to the Joker’s Stash wallet. MORE FOR YOU

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How big a pension has Joker built up through this criminal enterprise since it started operating in 2014? Elliptic said that, in 2018 alone, $139 million (£100 million) in sales went through Joker’s Stash, by way of example. More recently, revenues dropped significantly as payment card fraud detection technology improved. However, more than $400 million (£288 million) flowed through the site between 2015 and 2021.

Joker’s Stash made its money by charging deposit fees for converting Bitcoin to a dollar balance and also through taking a commission on all trading in stolen cards. Although that commission rate cannot be pinned down precisely, Elliptic analysts based their calculations on an average of 20% as seen at other carding operations.

“If we assume an average total commission of 20% on sales,” Elliptic wrote, “then considering bitcoin alone they would have taken a total of at least 60,000 bitcoins.”

Or, to put it another way, around $2.1 billion (£1.5 billion) currently.

Which leaves the departing statement from the Joker with the irony volume turned up to eleven. After telling cyber-gangsters not to “lose themselves in the pursuit of money,” the Joker went on to declare that “all the money in the world will never make you happy and the “most truly valuable things in this life are free.”

That’s easy to say when you have so much cash, regardless of how you came by it.

Maybe the pandemic played a role in both the site closure decision and that display of sentiment. In October 2020, Joker disclosed to customers that he, or she, had been in hospital for a week after contracting Covid-19.

Whatever, Joker’s Stash is no more and that’s a good thing for the law-abiding majority. Unfortunately, the way of the dark web world is that another carding site will soon rise to take over as the crypto kingpin of this illicit trade. Although this particular cybercrime genre has dipped in terms of profitability over the last couple of years, there is still, sadly, plenty of money to be made. Maybe not as much as the Joker’s Stash, but more than enough to make a mockery of the old saying that crime doesn’t pay. Especially as it would seem, based on current intelligence at least, that the site wasn’t busted by law enforcement but closed of its own volition. The last laugh would seem to be with the Joker.

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Davey Winder

Davey Winder

I’m a three-decade veteran technology journalist and have been a contributing editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue in 1994. A three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) I was also fortunate enough to be named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 I was honored with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism. Contact me in confidence at davey@happygeek.com if you have a story to reveal or research to share.

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Adult Film Star Ron Jeremy Gets 20 More Sexual Assault Counts, Faces 250 Years In Prison

Adult film star Ron Jeremy was charged with 20 more counts of sexual assault involving 13 additional women, according to Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey, with the new charges stacking on top of eight existing sexual assault charges from June—and Jeremy could get over 250 years in prison when all is said and done.

The charges announced Monday: “six counts of sexual battery by restraint, five counts of forcible rape, three counts of forcible oral copulation, two count of forcible penetration by a foreign object and one count each of sodomy, assault with intent to commit rape, penetration by a foreign object on an unconscious or sleeping victim and lewd conduct with a 15-year-old girl.”

The new charges span 16 years dating back to 2004, with the alleged victims ranging in age from 15 to 54.

A copy of the complaint lists the new counts and charges associated with each incident.

Jeremy was previously charged June 23 with three counts each of forcible rape and forcible penetration by a foreign object and one count each of forcible oral copulation and sexual battery.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in the three days following Jeremy’s indictment, prosecutors received 25 additional sexual misconduct allegations against the porn star, and the newspaper was told by a law enforcement official in July that there were 30 allegations dating back to 2000.

Jeremy pleaded not guilty to the original charges in June, and has not commented on the new allegations as of Monday afternoon.

Big number

17. That’s how many alleged victims are involved in the 23 charges against Jeremy.

Key background

Investigators claim that Jeremy used his celebrity status while cruising the Sunset Strip to take advantage of intoxicated women. The charges against Jeremy follow longtime allegations that he has groped and sexually assaulted women. A 2017 Rolling Stone investigation published allegations from a dozen women, and a separate YouTube video making a claim against Jeremy has racked up hundreds of thousands of views. At the time, Jeremy denied all of the allegations and sided with victims, telling the magazine that the “real predators need to be taken down.” Jeremy’s attorney told the Los Angeles Times in June that the porn star has “never, in his life, had sex with a female through force or duress.” 

Further reading

Porn star Ron Jeremy charged with 20 more counts of sexual abuse in L.A. County (Los Angeles Times)

Lisette Voytko

 Lisette Voytko

I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose and xoJane.

Tokyo Police Arrest Eight Men In A Cryptocurrency Pyramid Scheme – Shaurya Malwa

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Tokyo police arrested eight men on November 14, 2018, for a cryptocurrency-related pyramid scheme that scammed 6,000 people of 7.8 billion yen (approximately $68.42 million). According to Japanese News company Asahi Shimbun on November 16, 2018, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department suspected that the arrested men might have violated the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law as they failed to register their business operations with the relevant authorities. The Asahi Shimbun reported that the men were accused of soliciting investments in 2017 from February to May from nine men and women from various ages, ranging from 40 to 72…………..

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John Wayne Gacy & The Birth of The Murderabilia Industry – Tom G. Wolf

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Serial killers exert a peculiar hold over many among the general public. Their crimes are appalling, yet fascinating; their motives are frequently incomprehensible, sometimes even to the killers themselves. Yet people find themselves drawn back again and again to these seemingly complex characters and the gruesome nature of their crimes. Writing for Psychology Today, Professor Scott Bonn noted that: “In many ways, serial killers are for adults what monster movies are for children—that is, scary fun! However, the pleasure an adult receives from watching serial killers can be difficult to admit, and may even trigger feelings of guilt…..

Read more: https://wearethemutants.com/2018/09/10/john-wayne-gacy-and-the-birth-of-the-murderabilia-industry/

 

 

 

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See How Many Times Your School District Has Been Investigated for Civil Rights Violations – Beth Skwarecki

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If you believe your school district or college is discriminating against students on the basis of sex, race, or disability, you’re entitled to file a complaint with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Sexual harassment and assault are also grounds for complaints. The office is supposed to investigate fully and, if necessary, recommend corrective action to right any wrongs.

But ProPublica reports that the Department of Education is now dismissing far more cases without taking action under Betsy DeVos than it did under her predecessors. To go along with their report, they have published a tool that lets you look up your school district or college to see how many investigations have been opened in the last few years, and how they were resolved.

The data doesn’t break out individual schools, so New York City’s entire school district shows up as one entry with hundreds of cases. But if you look up a smaller district, or a college, the data becomes more meaningful—two cases at in one Pennsylvania district I checked. Six at the University of Pittsburgh, but 15 at that same university’s medical school, which is listed separately.

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For the full details on what the cases are about, you’ll have to check local news or other sources; ProPublica only provides dates and some very basic information on the type of complaint and the nature of the resolution. But it’s worth checking to see what’s happening at your district that you might not have known about.

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