What are Carding Forums

These are large, heavily moderated forums entirely devoted to cyber crime; carders meet on these forums to buy and sell stolen information and products, share tips and techniques, post cyber crime–related news stories, or simply to socialize. The more reputable forums have extensive vetting processes to weed out "rippers" (scam artists who prey on other criminals by selling them bogus information). As these forums are probably the most high-profile Web sites on which carding-related transactions occur, they tend to have relatively short life spans (due to attention by law enforcement officials and denial-of-service attacks by rival carding groups).

About 50 percent of carding forums are English only; the majority of the rest are Russian only (although many of these have small English-language sections), while the few remaining forums are in various languages, including Vietnamese, Arabic, and Swedish. Many posters on Englishlanguage forums obviously do not read or write the language very well, which demonstrates how carding truly is a worldwide practice.

There is a widespread perception (apparently with some basis in fact) in the carding world that many carding forums are "LE," or are run by law enforcement agencies as sting operations. Even more interestingly, even these forums are usually fairly popular among carders. The following are the most popular carding forums (roughly in order of popularity):

Carder.su: Formerly carder.info, carder.su is a Russian and English language carding domain (Figure 2.6) founded in late 2005. It is largely popular, as it currently contains more than 51,000 members. The carder.su domain is home to many of the most notorious carders, including AccessDenied, NLP, fozzy, Prada, Mr.BIN, SHoTTGuN, and many more.

CardingWorld.cc: A dual-language, Russian and English, forum (Figure 2.7) founded in early 2005. Devoted to cyber fraud, it currently contains a user base in upward of 26,000 members. Forum members buy, sell, and trade such illicit goods and services as credit card dumps, bank drops, banking logins, counterfeit credit card holograms, PayPal accounts, and more.

Mazafaka.ru: Probably the most popular Russian-language forum, Mazafaka has been around for years and has acquired a "brand-name" status among even English-speaking carders. The Web site's main page (Figure 2.8) is extremely professional looking, with regular news updates, hacking tutorials, software downloads, and a massive directory of proxy servers. The forum admits only Russian speakers as members.

Verified.ru: A Russian-language carding forum (Figure 2.9) that maintains a dedicated following that currently stands at more than 49,000 users. Created in April of 2005, verified.ru is perhaps the single most popular forum in the cyber fraud underground, and subsequently contains many of the heaviest hitters and trusted vendors around.

 Verified.ru, a prominent Russian-language carding domain

Other Notable Carding Forums:

The following list is a collection of URLs for other noteworthy carding forums; all were online as of January 1, 2009:
Do you also want to know some of the Notable Carders? Well, wait for my next post :-)

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