Turkish cybercrime revitalised by influx of Russian fraudsters

Thousands of Russian trained software engineers fled to Turkey and turned to online fraud and scams, teaming up with established Turkish counterparts.

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Cybercriminals in Türkiye have flooded the online marketplace with tons of newly stolen personal credentials by teaming up with recently arrived Russian hackers, according to a report in Financial Times.

Thousands of men, many of them trained software engineers, fled from Russia to Türkiye last year. Some turned to relatively low-level online fraud and scams, teaming up with established Turkish counterparts. Over the course of months, the Russian hackers taught their Turkish colleagues sophisticated code to collect huge amounts of data, while the Turkish criminals used their contacts in Western Europe, especially Germany, to secure better prices.

The marketplace of choice for cybercriminals has been flooded in the last few months with tens of millions of stolen credit cards, passwords, and login details. The data is being harvested by a standard piece of malware, nicknamed Redline, which is accidentally downloaded by people who use illegal websites to play video games or download pirated versions of popular software. Hundreds of Telegram groups are apparently trading access to the freshly scraped data.

Turkish police are investigating the recent surge in activity. The police officer pointed out that these newly established gangs are careful not to target Turks to reduce the scrutiny of local officials.