Cybercrime service automates creation of fake scanned IDs, other identity verification documents

The service produces high-quality fake scans that can be used in fraud attacks to impersonate victims, Group-IB researchers said

A new Web-based service for cybercriminals automates the creation of fake scanned documents that can help fraudsters bypass the identity verification processes used by some banks, e-commerce businesses and other online services providers, according to researchers from Russian cybercrime investigations firm Group-IB.

The service can generate scanned copies of passports, ID cards and driver's licenses from different countries for identities supplied by the service users, fake scanned utility bills from various companies, as well as fake scanned copies of banking statements and credit cards issued by a large number of banks, said Andrey Komarov, head of international projects at Group-IB, via email.

It is common practice for banks, payment and money transfer providers, online gambling sites and other types of businesses that engage in money transactions via the Internet to ask their customers for scanned copies of documents in order to prove their identities or verify their physical addresses, especially when their anti-fraud departments detect suspicious account activity.

Using image manipulation software to change the photo, name and other details on a scanned ID is obviously not a new practice, but services like the one identified by Group-IB that automate the whole process and produce high-quality results are new on the cybercriminal market, Komarov said.

According to Group-IB, the service is provided through a website hosted on a server in Germany. The domain name was registered in May, but the service was launched in mid-August, Komarov said.

Independent cybercrime researcher Dancho Danchev described a very similar service in a July blog post; however, Komarov could not confirm whether it is the same one because there was no reference to the service's domain name in Danchev's report.

The service found by Group-IB has templates for passports, ID cards and driver's licences for the U.S., Canada, Russia, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands and other European Union countries. It also has templates for bank statements, credit cards -- front and back -- and utility bills from banks and utility companies operating in those countries.

The templates are for documents and cards that show signs of use and are scanned at different angles and different positions on the canvas. This makes the resulting image appear more authentic.

Using the service, a cybercriminal can get their desired counterfeit scanned document in JPG or PNG image format in around 40 seconds, Komarov said.

Scans of U.S. passports are the most expensive product and cost US$11 each. Other scanned documents are priced at $7.99 or $9.99 each.

Cybercriminals can pay using several online payment services and virtual currencies including WebMoney, Perfect Money, Bitcoin, Paymer and a new payment service called papogo.com that caters to the black market, Komarov said.

Some companies that use scanned documents for identity verification have specialized systems and tools that can detect image modifications, Kamarov said. When there is suspicion about the authenticity of a scan, the anti-fraud teams will request images with better quality to verify that they are really created by the user, he said.

However, sometimes companies don't have the resources to perform detailed checks of incoming scans and criminals are exploiting this, Komarov said.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Topics: Group-IB, security, Identity fraud / theft, fraud
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?