We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Secret services busts internet organised crime ring

1.7m stolen credit card numbers were involved in global scam

In what it called an "information age undercover investigation," the US Secret Service has announced the arrest of 28 people from eight states and six countries allegedly involved in a global organised cybercrime ring.

Charges filed against the suspects include identity theft, computer fraud, credit card fraud and conspiracy.

The investigation, code-named Operation Firewall, resulted in what the Secret Service described as a significant disruption of organised criminal activity online. The suspects are alleged to have collectively trafficked in at least 1.7m stolen credit card numbers.

Financial institutions have estimated their losses associated with the suspects targeted by the investigation to be more than $4.3m.

"Led by the Secret Service Newark Field Office, investigators from nearly 30 domestic and foreign Secret Service offices and their global law enforcement counterparts have prevented potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in loss to the financial and hi-tech communities," said Secret Service Director W. Ralph Basham in a statement.

"These suspects targeted the personal and financial information of ordinary citizens, as well as the confidential and proprietary information of companies engaged in e-commerce."

Operation Firewall began in July 2003 and quickly evolved into a transnational investigation of global credit card fraud and online identity theft. The underground criminal groups have been identified as Shadowcrew, Carderplanet, and Darkprofits.

The organisations operated websites used to traffic counterfeit credit cards and false identification information and documents. The groups allegedly used the sites to share information on how to commit fraud and sold the stolen information and the tools needed to commit such crimes.

International law enforcement organisations that took part in the investigation and arrests included the UK National Hi-Tech Crimes Unit, the Vancouver Police Department's Financial Crimes Section, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Europol.

Officials in Bulgaria, Belarus, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Ukraine also were involved.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

2015 creative trends: 20 leading designers & artists reveal the biggest influences & changes coming)......

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad