A course is being offered online to Russian-speaking wannabe hackers who want to learn all about online fraud, hijacking credit cards for their own benefit, and draining the hard-earned savings of unsuspecting people.
Discovered by Digital Shadows, a threat intelligence firm, the program is known as 'WWH,' and is advertised on underground Russian websites. Enrolment costs 45,000 Russian Rubles (equal to $760) plus an extra $200 for course materials. The program is payable via Bitcoin or Webmoney.
Those who sign up will be entitled to access a six-week program that covers 20 topics. WWH students will be mentored by five instructors through live webinars. Classes have a limit of 15 people, so the instructors can closely work with the registrants. Lectures and materials will be provided through PDF files.
The course offers insights into just about everything related to financial fraud. The instructors conduct lectures on how to access online accounts that have access to a payment card, as well as how to drain the funds inside them. They also have lessons on how to find reliable online stores that sell compromised card data, and then use the information to steal money from legitimate account holders.
"Judging by the positive reviews of satisfied students, there are real profits to be made," Digital Shadows wrote in its whitepaper. "While [course-takers] may not stand to make as much potential money as harvesters and distributors, the right training enables [these] entry level fraudsters to up their game to make far more money than they would otherwise earn."
Digital Shadows notes that the increased sophistication and professionalization of the card fraud business has obvious negative implications for credit card companies, merchants, and consumers. The WWH course, for instance, constantly updates its teaching materials, which will then keep the course-takers up-to-date on how to work around new security measures.