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Businesses Security

The Underground Uber Networks Driven by Russian Hackers (thedailybeast.com) 49

Joseph Cox, reporting for DailyBeat: Uber's ride-sharing service has given birth to some of the most creative criminal scams to date, including using a GPS-spoofing app to rip off riders in Nigeria, and even ginning up fake drivers by using stolen identities. Add to those this nefariously genius operation: Cybercriminals, many working in Russia, have created their own illegitimate taxi services for other crooks by piggybacking off Uber's ride-sharing platform, sometimes working in collaboration with corrupt drivers. Based on several Russian-language posts across a number of criminal-world sites, this is how the scam works: The scammer needs an emulator, a piece of software which allows them to run a virtual Android phone on their laptop with the Uber app, as well as a virtual private network (VPN), which routes their computer's traffic through a server in the same city as the rider. The scammer acts, in essence, as a middleman between an Uber driver and the passenger -- ordering trips through the Uber app, but relaying messages outside of it. Typically, this fraudulent dispatcher uses the messaging app Telegram to chat with the passenger, who provides pickup and destination addresses. The scammer orders the trip, and then provides the car brand, driver name, and license plate details back to the passenger through Telegram.
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The Underground Uber Networks Driven by Russian Hackers

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  • I've RTFA and I still can't figure out ... what's the scam? Someone is ordering a ride, someone is driving, someone is paying for the ride.

    Last analysis I read said Uber is already burning investor money faster than they're making it, trying to grow and corner the market. If these guys are just providing the same service as Uber, how are they making any money?

  • Hi, Nigeria (Score:4, Funny)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Friday December 01, 2017 @12:06PM (#55657801)

    I'm a Russian Prince and I need your help to transfer a gazillion rubles I 'inherited' into your country....

  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @12:13PM (#55657855)
    These Russian hackers are now like the monster in the closet who gets blamed for everything. This is just a re-seller scam, not a hack.
  • How it works (Score:5, Informative)

    by SB5407 ( 4372273 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @12:14PM (#55657863)
    1. "An enterprising company" advertises taxi services for less than the prevailing rate. I'll call the service "Hot Taxi" because it depends on stolen payment accounts/credit cards.
    2. A potential rider contacts Hot Taxi.
    3. Hot Taxi and the rider work out the details of the rider's payment (a rate less than Uber or Lyft, presumably), the pickup and the drop off.
    4. Hot Taxi books an Uber ride with a stolen CC.
    5. At the end of the ride, Uber charges the stolen credit card, and while the rider has to pay Hot Taxi via something like the Russian equivalent of PayPal or Venmo.
    6. Boom. The rider gets a taxi ride from Hot Taxi that costs less than the going Uber rate and Hot Taxi pockets the money, because they don't have to pay the driver, Uber does.
    • by slew ( 2918 )

      1. "An enterprising company" advertises taxi services for less than the prevailing rate. I'll call the service "Hot Taxi" because it depends on stolen payment accounts/credit cards.
      2. A potential rider contacts Hot Taxi.
      3. Hot Taxi and the rider work out the details of the rider's payment (a rate less than Uber or Lyft, presumably), the pickup and the drop off.
      4. Hot Taxi books an Uber ride with a stolen CC.
      5. At the end of the ride, Uber charges the stolen credit card, and while the rider has to pay Hot Taxi via something like the Russian equivalent of PayPal or Venmo.
      6. Boom. The rider gets a taxi ride from Hot Taxi that costs less than the going Uber rate and Hot Taxi pockets the money, because they don't have to pay the driver, Uber does.

      Actually, Uber likely doesn't have to pay either, the CC issuer pays for fraudulent transactions which in the end means all those that have CC pay (where those that carry a monthly balance and pay interest suffer the higher burden)...

      FWIW, this doesn't describe a screw-Uber scam, it's basically a stick-it-to-the-man plan (the man being the collective CC holders)...

  • Does this enterprise only take gold coins?

  • Why is this illegal or wrong or a scam?

    As long as Uber gets the customer and gets what it wants to be paid, where is the scam?

  • Uber's ride-sharing service

    Should always read: Uber's unlicensed taxi service

  • If you cry bloody hell against having a regulated market, don't whine when there is no way to protect you from people taking advantage of it. This is where a deregulated market goes to.
  • Not Russian hackers. They're not hacking anything.
    They're using Uber to launder stolen credit cards

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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