Popular service used by cybercriminals to verify stolen credit card info shut down
U.S. authorities announced Wednesday that they shut down a popular credit card verification service used by cybercriminals and indicted a Russian citizen suspected of running the scheme.
The 43-year-old Denis Kulkov, who currently resides in Russia, owns and operates Try2Check — a web platform used to sell stolen credit cards. Kulkov created the service in 2005 and has made at least $18 million from it, which he used to purchase a Ferrari sports car and other luxury items, prosecutors said.
The service was taken down Wednesday following a joint operation between the U.S. government and partners in Germany, Austria, and France.
Try2Check’s main customers were cybercriminals who stole large amounts of credit card numbers — the service determined if the numbers were valid, and helped cybercriminals sell the verified data to other fraudsters for a higher price. Try2Check charged 20 cents per card check.
Prosecutors said that in addition to the credit card issuers and holders who fell victim to the service, a prominent U.S.-based payment processing company had its systems exploited to conduct the card verifications. The police don’t disclose the name of the company.
Try2Check was one of the most popular card-checking platforms among cybercriminals, processing more than one million transactions per month, according to the indictment.
The U.S. State Department on Wednesday announced a reward of up to $10 million for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest or conviction of Kulkov. The U.S. is also offering a separate reward of up to $1 million for information that will help to identify other key leaders of the Try2Check platform.
Although prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York issued a warrant for the arrest of Kulkov — charging him with access device fraud, computer intrusion, and money laundering — it’s unlikely that he will be detained unless he travels outside of Russia. The country’s constitution prohibits the extradition of its citizens, and rarely agrees to cooperate with foreign governments.
is a reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.