Dark Web’s Largest Marketplace for Stolen Credit Cards is Shutting Down

UniCC, the biggest dark web marketplace of stolen credit and debit cards, has announced that it’s shuttering its operations after earning $358 million in purchases since 2013 using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and Dash.

“Don’t build any conspiracy theories about us leaving,” the anonymous operators of UniCC said in a farewell posted on dark web carding forums, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. “It is [a] weighted decision, we are not young and our health do[es] not allow [us] to work like this any longer.”

The UniCC team also gave its users 10 days to spend their balances, while also warning customers to “not follow any fakes tied to our comeback.”

Platforms such as UniCC function as an underground marketplace wherein payment card details stolen from online retailers, banks, and payments companies by injecting malicious skimmers are trafficked in exchange for cryptocurrency. The cards are then used by criminal actors to purchase high-value items or gift cards.

“This process is known as ‘carding,’ and it has become a key part of the cybercriminal’s playbook,” Elliptic researchers said. “The technique is very profitable in its own right, but it is also used to help launder and cash-out cryptocurrency obtained through other types of cybercrime.”

The sunsetting comes exactly a year after Joker’s Stash, the previous market leader, announced its retirement in January 2021 after having facilitated the sale of nearly $400 million in stolen cards. The demise of Joker’s Stash worked to UniCC’s benefit, which quickly snapped up the top spot with a 30% market share, the researchers noted.

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