Scammers and cybercriminals are always coming up with new and inventive ways to take advantage of unsuspecting people and organizations - being vigilant and aware of the online landscape has become even more important in the evolving world of cyberthreats. The increase in "scam-as-a-service" models over the past few years is one especially troubling trend.
One of these models stands out as particularly complex and powerful in the realm of online fraud: Classiscam. In this blog post, we're going to look at Classiscam, looking at its history, how it works, and how cybercriminals use this scam-as-a-service.
What is Scam-as-a-Service?
It's important to understand the idea of "scam-as-a-service" before we can dive into Classiscam. Scam-as-a-service platforms offer cybercriminals a range of tools and services to carry out cyberattacks more effectively and successfully, much like legitimate software-as-a-service (SaaS) models do.
These platforms provide a variety of illegal services, including credit card fraud, ransomware attacks, and phishing attacks. For cybercriminals, scam-as-a-service is essentially a one-stop shop that allows them to easily target both people and businesses.
Classiscam: How it all started
Classiscam first showed up on dark web forums and underground communities around 2018. Since then, it has become popular for its advanced approach to online fraud and its wide range of cybercriminal products. Cybercriminals can use the site's tools and resources by paying a monthly subscription fee - this is the fundamental principle of any as-a-service models. The people behind Classiscam are guaranteed a consistent flow of income thanks to this subscription model.
The platform's founders and operators have remained anonymous, concealing their identities via pseudonyms and encryption methods. They follow a rigorous code of secrecy, which makes it difficult for law enforcement to find them. Due to the anonymity, Classiscam has been able to grow and evolve, adapting to legal proceedings and always remaining one step ahead.
This Telegram-based enterprise, similar to a ransomware-as-a-service operation, hires affiliates who make fake ads and websites using the service's phishing kits in order to steal money, credit card information, and, more recently, banking details.
The developers then split any profits with the affiliate, with the developers receiving 20-30% of the revenue and the affiliate receiving the remaining portion.
What does Classiscam do?
Classiscam offers a wide variety of schemes to suit cybercriminals with different levels of technological abilities. The platform's most popular scams include some of the following:
Classiscam offers phishing templates and kits that make it easy for cybercriminals to create convincing phishing e-mails and websites. These campaigns aim to deceive unsuspecting victims into handing over critical information such as login credentials and bank information.
The platform provides ransomware-as-a-service, enabling attackers to launch ransomware attacks targeting selected businesses and organizations. Once they've been infected, victims are encouraged to pay a ransom to get access to their files again.
Classiscam offers services and tools for identity theft, like making fake IDs and passports. Cybercriminals can then use that information to commit fraud by stealing someone else's identity.
The website sells stolen credit card information and provides directions on how to use that data to make illegal transactions as they participate in the cybercrime.
Classiscam provides tools for social engineering schemes, which persuade people to share private information or engage in activities that will be profitable for the hacker.
Through Classiscam, cybercriminals can obtain stolen documents and certificates that can be used for a variety of illicit purposes, including immigration fraud or academic credential forgery.
How it can affect you
There are several negative effects associated with Classiscam - and generally other scam-as-a-service models. Below, we’ll highlight some of the impacts that these scam-as-a-services can have:
Classiscam's scams can cause major financial losses for both individuals and businesses that fall for them. These types of scams often lead to stolen funds, extortion payments, or legal fees that are related to identity theft.
Data breaches can happen as a result of phishing schemes and ransomware attacks supported by Classiscam, exposing private data and damaging the reputation of the organizations involved.
Classiscam scams can have a profound psychological impact on victims, leaving them feeling powerless, frustrated, and evidently lack trust in online communication.
It’s difficult for law enforcement to locate and capture Classiscam's operators because of their anonymity. This, then, makes it more difficult to take down the platform and prevent Classiscam from spreading even more than it already is.
The increasing number of platforms that offer scams-as-a-service threatens the trust we have to online interactions, leading people and organizations to be more cautious and vigilant while doing business or exchanging information online.
The fight against scam-as-a-service
Combating Classiscam and other scam-as-a-service platforms is ongoing, but the battle against cybercrime is tough and multifaceted. To combat this expanding threat, we can implement various tactics.
It's important to raise cybersecurity awareness among people and organizations. Classiscam and similar sites can prove to be less effective if users are educated on the danger that lies in phishing and online scams. Once we know about them, it becomes easier to spot and detect them.
To reduce the danger of falling for scams, businesses should implement strong cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and awareness training programs.You can improve your cybersecurity by e.g. creating and implementing more effective online identity verification systems, since it will make it harder for hackers to commit fraud and identity theft if they have to circumvent MFA.
Collaboration between cybersecurity experts, law enforcement, and international organizations is crucial for finding and prosecuting the people responsible for scam-as-a-service platforms like Classiscam. In a dream scenario, Governments should also implement laws that especially target cybercrime and individuals who run scam-as-a-service platforms. This should be done to discourage cybercriminals, implement harsher punishments and encourage international collaborations.
Be aware of your online surroundings
Classiscam serves as a disturbing example of the dangerous world of scam-as-a-service, where cybercriminals have easy access to resources and tools to take advantage of people and organizations for financial benefit.
While initiatives to combat Classiscam are in the works, it is essential for people and organizations to exercise caution and take preventative measures to protect themselves from falling for these scams. Cybersecurity professionals, law enforcement agencies, and the general public must work together to fight cybercrime in order to protect the online community from hackers and scammers.
Caroline is a copywriter here at Moxso beside her education. She is doing her Master's in English and specializes in translation and the psychology of language. Both fields deal with communication between people and how to create a common understanding - these elements are incorporated into the copywriting work she does here at Moxso.View all posts by Caroline Preisler