One of the largest darknet marketplaces for selling identity data and stolen credit card information, Jokerâ€™s Stash retired last month after making off with a cool $1 billion in cryptocurrencies. Weeks ago, U.S. and European officials seized some of the web portalâ€™s servers tied to Jokerâ€™s Stash site, but were unable to completely shut operations down.
Darknet Market Jokerâ€™s Stash Closes Shop
A number of reports indicate that the worldâ€™s largest darknet market (DNM), in terms of stolen credit card and identity sales, has called it quits after operating since 2014. Jokerâ€™s Stash explained in mid-January that the business would be closing shop in mid-February and it has followed through with the plan.
The blockchain analysis firm Elliptic detailed that the Jokerâ€™s Stash raked in more than $1 billion in cryptocurrencies during its tenure. Elliptic also revealed that the estimate was a conservative calculation based on the revenue Jokerâ€™s Stash took in during the years and all the fees.
On January 15, Jokerâ€™s Stash admins said the site would go dark on February 15, but Elliptic monitored the web portal and said the DNM went offline on February 3, 2021. Jokerâ€™s Stash had a lucky run up until 2020, when reports detailed that the owner of the DNM contracted the coronavirus and had to go to the hospital for seven days.
At the time, Jokerâ€™s Stash customers started complaining and having issues with card data and identification intel reliability. Both Krebs on Security and Gemini Advisory have published reports with a comprehensive analysis on the Jokerâ€™s Stash operations.
Covid-19 and Global Law Enforcement Push the Jokerâ€™s Stash Toward the Brink
Ever since the admin caught Covid-19 and the weeks that followed, Gemini Advisory said the business saw a â€œsevere declineâ€ in volumes. The image below, created by Gemini shows the decline in Jokerâ€™s Stash CNP and CP data toward the end of August 2020.
But Covid-19 wasnâ€™t the only issue Jokerâ€™s Stash operation dealt with in 2020, as the law enforcement officials from Europe and the U.S. stepped in as well. Interpol and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) seized a number of its servers on December 16, 2020. But much like The Pirate Bay, Jokerâ€™s Stash set up new infrastructure on the web and operations continued until the retirement announcement.
â€œJoker goes on a well-deserved retirement. Jokerâ€™s Stash is closing,â€ the farewell letter said. â€œWhen we opened years ago, nobody knew us. Today we are one of the largest card/dumps marketplaces.â€
Admins promised to leave the storeâ€™s â€œStashâ€ open for 30 more days and told people not to fall for any phony websites that could appear in the future. In capital letters, Jokerâ€™s Stash said that it would â€œnever open again.â€ Jokerâ€™s Stash made it clear that customers should not trust any imposters going forward.
The hoard Jokerâ€™s Stash obtained from payment card records stemmed from firms that saw large data breaches over the years. Gemini Advisory said that Jokerâ€™s Stash data came from high-profile hacks that saw the loss of massive amounts of confidential customer data.
Merchants caught in the hackerâ€™s crossfires include Whole Foods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hilton Hotels, Hy-Vee supermarkets, and Lord and Taylor.
What do you think about the Jokerâ€™s Stash admins retiring after operating since 2014 and raking in $1 billion in digital assets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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