Dark web stolen credit card site UniCC closes up shop (Image Credit: TheDigitalWay from Pixabay)UniCC, the leading dark web marketplace for stolen credit cards, has closed. The announcement has taken the dark web by surprise. UniCC was seen as highly profitable. Elliptic Threat Intel claims its analysis shows UniCC made $358 million since 2013 in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Dash and Litecoin.

The marketplace posted the news of its closure on dark web forums in both Russian and English. It wrote: “Our team retires. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of us for years. To loyal partners, clients and colleagues who assisted in many ways. I would separately thank each one but it is not professional. If I so some of our team members failed your expectations – we trully sorry.

“Don’t build any conspiracy theories about us leaving, it is weighted decision, we are not young and our health do not allow to work like this any longer.

“We give you 10 days to spend your balance (we will continue updates during this period). To all the partners selling with us – do not worry, you will be paid up to last cent. After all… Unicc and LuxSocks will leave for ever. We ask you to be smart and not follow and fakes tied to our comeback and other things.

“Sincerely, your Unicc Team.”

The rise and fall of UniCC

UniCC played second fiddle to carding marketplace Joker’s Stash for a while. In 2017, Joker’s Stash took control of the carding marketplace and, for two years, earned much more than UniCC.

However, after Joker’s Stash was taken down by law enforcement, UniCC captured 30% of the carding marketplace. According to Elliptic, “Tens of thousands of new cards were listed for sale on the market each day, and it was known for having many different vendors – with the fierce competition keeping prices relatively low.”

What helped drive UniCC’s profits is that carding is part of the cash-out mechanism for other cybercriminals. They buy stolen cards with the cryptocurrencies they receive and use those to buy goods and gifts cards. It helps break the chain between the crime, payment and eventual reward.

What happens now?

For customers and retailers using UniCC, it’s now all about the cash-out and payment. There’s no reason to assume that UniCC won’t honour its commitments as laid out in its closure notice. But it will create a rush as people look to get what they can.

Beyond this, the focus will be on who takes over. There has been an influx of new people setting up carding sites over the last two years. It has made the marketplace very competitive. Now there’s a chance for one to jump up and take over as UniCC did when Joker’s Stash went down. According to many threat intel vendors, AllWorld Cards is the favourite to claim that spot. However, it will take a few months to see if that is the case or if there are other pretenders to the throne.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

Dark web marketplaces come and go. Some are taken down by law enforcement, some are hacked by other criminals, some cut and run with everyone’s money and others just close because they’ve had enough. On the face of it, UniCC falls into the latter category, and it will be interesting to see if they stay shuttered or get bored with retirement.

The race is now on to capture all those sellers and buyers of card data. Whoever wins that race can expect to bank tens if not hundreds of millions per year. That is, of course, if they can avoid being hacked themselves by competitors and other criminals.


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