Wed, 31 Jul 13 at 17:44   | comment No Comments Yet

Computer Heists — Maybe Not So Dull After All

Cannes Hotel

More exciting than it looks

In my last post I complained that stealing millions of dollars is too easy nowadays — any Wall Street bozo with a keyboard and some back-office privileges can do it on his coffee break.

But this mockery may have been short-sighted. Capers in the ether can be every bit as complex and challenging as Oceans Eleven … especially if you’re stealing from other criminals:

Before he gutted and nearly destroyed one of the most influential criminal markets on the Internet, a man using the nickname Boneless published a detailed guide on the art of disappearing.

“I have some experience in this area,” he wrote, detailing how fugitives should best go about buying phony passports, dodging cops, and keeping their stories straight.

The guide was just one of many contributions Boneless made to HackBB, a popular destination on the Deep Web, a group of sites that sit hidden behind walls of encryption and anonymity. Back in 2012, the forum was a top destination for buying stolen credit cards, skimming ATMs, and hacking anything from personal computers to server hardware … It was one of the safest and most popular places on the Deep Web to break the law.

Then one day in March, HackBB simply vanished, its databases destroyed … It wasn’t hard to guess who’d done it. A few days earlier, Boneless had disappeared—and with him, a serious chunk of the market’s sizable hoards of money.

This is an amazing story. Whoever “Boneless” is, he infiltrated one of the most secure criminal havens in the world, then ripped them blind. I can’t even think of a good metaphor: sneaking into al-Qaeda’s mountain fortress and stealing the last of Osama’s millions? Working your way into the Zetas then absconding with a year’s worth of drug profits?

Read the entire story here. Truly remarkable.

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