Ismail Kurcu – Confessions of a Domain Criminal
When Ismail Kurcu goes online, it’s always someone else’s expense.
The 22 year old student from Ankara, Turkey uses a credit card generator as the means for paying for a brand new Internet connection every month.
It takes 45 days for the Internet provider to shut down his connection; by then, he has moved onto a new one.
Every afternoon, Ismail has coffee with his friends, Sadik and Usman, both students at the same Ankara University.
Sipping coffee from small cups, they tap on their laptops, connected through a wireless network of a nearby construction company. They hacked into the router using their own homegrown brute-force password cracker.
Life is good.
Ismail and his friends frequent domain forums and attempt to peddle their wares to people they call “stupid Americans”. Using hacked Paypal accounts, they quickly transfer money through debit cards and into cash.
Computer security in Turkey is lax at best; most often, large networks are compromised by their own administrators who resell user accounts for $10 a pop.
We got on AIM knowing we might get an odd taste of the East. Turkey’s small footprint on the European continent gives it a right in a future application for EU membership; still, most of the country occupies Anatolia and population lives in rather poor conditions.
The main Internet hubs run in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir; most people living in these large metropolitan areas are driven by a motive to make money by any means possible, including fraudulent ones.
“Hello, is this Ismail? Tell us a bit about what you do.”
“Yes, this is me. I happy to talk here LOL. I know work good to get domains from stupid Americans hahaha!”
“Hmm, ok, but how do you do that? Can you share your secrets?”
“Well…not the secrets no but I tell you that easy to social engineer people. I tell them my wife have baby and need money by Friday, then ask for Paypal money. Of course account paypal hacked, so….”
“And what about registrars, don’t they give the domains back?”
“Ha! Not easy. But I jump domains from many registrar and use Chinese or Russian registrar to push domain. Until stupid owner find out, bye-bye domain.”
“Most people don’t trust offers that are too good to be true. Why did you offer links to Google PR10 sites when there’s no such thing?”
“People are stupid they believe what want believe, you know? I sell them my sister if they want LOL I take their money then send picture haha! I once sold domain not registered to a stupid buyer, he paid paypal cash!”
“Aren’t you afraid you will be caught? Isn’t Turkey supposed to be a lawful country that observes international law?”
“Ha! Stupid peoples from America think that we care. But I go to school and have work to do and who pays? Americans and others. That’s how I make money, from people’s stupid.”
“But surely that’s not the methods of an honest person. Aren’t you afraid you will go to hell? The Qur’an says a thief is punished by losing his own hand.”
“No, no, no. Don’t say such. It say, you can not steal from the faithful. So no cheating Turkiye peoples, only stupid Americans, and it’s good.”
“I see. Well good luck Ismail and hopefully one of these days you will see that what you do is wrong and will stop doing it.”
“Ha! Stupid American! I spit on you!”
And here ends our conversation with Ismail and his educational insight of what constitutes right and wrong. He is one of many young ones that share the same approach to life, often caused by lack of paternal love and by not receiving any maternal milk at a young age.
Many of them turn into real life criminals, murderers, arsonists, rapists and politicians.
But that’s a whole different story, to be told another time.