For those who track Internet crime or the online pharmacy world, few networks are more ubiquitous and overtly criminal than the Russian Rx-Promotion affiliate network, which sells controlled substances like OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax without a prescription. LegitScript has documented over 2,200 primary (non-spam) Rx-Promotion affiliates, some of which are now offline, while others remain open for business.Rx-Promotion affiliate us-rx-pharmacy.net
Brian Krebs, who writes an award-winning blog (krebsonsecurity.com) on security and Internet criminality, posted a fascinating blog about his recent trip to Russia, just days after the Russian police busted a party for Rx-Promotion “affiliates”––the individuals who may not directly dispense the drugs but operate the storefront and take a cut of the sales.
If you are interested in the rogue Internet pharmacy world, the blog is worth a read. The blog recounts Krebs’ communications (part of them, at least) with Pavel Vrublevsky, the founder of ChronoPay and a principal within Rx-Promotion. In addition to some humorous portions, the blog makes a compelling case that ChronoPay and Rx-Promotion have an incestuous relationship, with Vrublevsky at or near the top of the criminal network’s pyramid. This makes sense: rogue Internet pharmacy networks rely not just on “safe haven” Registrars and ISPs, but also need a reliable payment processor. It hints at a rivalry between Rx-Promotion and GlavMed, which is interesting given the cross-over we see between the two networks’ downstream affiliates.
But this is logical. If you operate a rogue Internet pharmacy network, you are going to want to have maximum influence over – or, if possible, within – the third-party businesses that you need to partner with. Indeed, one trend we are watching is the emergence of domain name resellers who appear to have one foot in the rogue Internet pharmacy world, and another foot in the domain name registration world. (More on that in another blog.)
Check out krebsonsecurity.com for a great update, and some good insight, into the operations of, and rivalries between, two of the most significant criminal enterprises that have existed on the Internet.