Money Mules: How A Data Breach Turns Into Cash

Once a cybercriminal gets their hands on thousands of credit cards, now what? They obviously can’t go on a shopping spree and have everything shipped to their house, right?

Instead, they rely on a high-tech mix of services and scams to turn the stolen credit cards into stolen goods. It starts with shipping labels – a critical part of the scam. Black market services exist to print labels with carriers that are sold to cybercriminals – often by those proficient in taking over accounts with access to shipping services.

But labels alone don’t get the job done; to remain unknown, cybercriminals need a “drop network” – which includes a group of unsuspecting individuals who act as “mules” to receive good purchased with the credit cards and ship them to their next destination.