Cybercriminals are turning to new technologies to launder their ill-gotten gains, including recruiting fake Uber drivers, shady Airbnb hosts and crypto conversion specialists via the underground dark web, experts say.
Criminals are also ramping up older methods of money laundering, including buying gift cards and reselling them for a fraction of their price on the web, and relying on bank insiders to filter their funds through legitimate accounts and credit lines.
Ziv Mador, who leads cybersecurity firm Trustwave's SpiderLabs research team, said money laundering is essential to allowing cybercrime to proliferate. In fact, if you've ever had money stolen in a cyber scheme or from a hacked credit or debit card, this may be where it ended up.
"Cybercrime headlines tend to focus on new variants of malware or gross negligence resulting in large data breaches. It's a proverbial game of cat and mouse, with white hats fortifying defenses and black hats adjusting to bypass," he said. "However, missing from these stories and just as important for grasping how cybercriminals operate is what takes place post-breach or when funds are acquired illegally."