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January 25, 2017

There IS honour among thieves – new service for cyber criminals names and shames ‘rippers’

Ripper.cc provides a service to cyber-criminals by upholding a code of honour.

By Tom Ball

Ripper.cc is a service set up by cyber criminals to protect each other from attacks and theft from within their own ranks.

Recently the service identified the 1000th culprit to have ‘ripped off’ a fellow cyber-criminal, naming and shaming them for all to see. Ripper CC is the first of its kind, and it is playing an important role in protecting the cyber economy for cyber criminals who are sticking to the code of honour.

The ‘rippers’ have a detrimental impact on the cyber economy for other cyber-criminals by selling fake social media credentials, and stealing money by not delivering promised goods and services. When these acts are being carried out, the cyber criminals honour code‘legitimate’ buyers and sellers are subjected to less lucrative transactions.

After the perpetrator is caught, the service keeps their profile information, which includes contact and identification information, as well as the details of the specific fraud the ripper is accused of. A recent development has involved the creation of a plug-in for Jabber, the preferred method of communication for cyber criminals, which alerts the participant if they are in contact with someone flagged on the database.

Rick Holland, VP Strategy at Digital Shadows said “What is intriguing for the security observer is that the people offering the Ripper.cc service have already developed Firefox and Chrome extensions to enable functionality to operate across as many forums and marketplaces as possible”.

In addition to increasing the breadth of the service with Firefox and Chrome extensions, it is also thought that a step may be taken by those running Ripper.cc to “monetise the service in a manner which appears to mirror legitimate business models”, according to Rick Holland.

Ripper.cc is an example of the industrialisation of cyber-crime, and equally exemplary of the constantly growing threats posed to legitimate business, as cyber-criminals gain a stronger foothold. The service allows for a more organised system for criminals, by neutralising rippers who make cyber-crime less profitable, and reduce opportunities for growth.

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