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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FBI arrests 24 hackers in $205M credit card fraud scheme

The FBI has arrested six suspected British hackers accused of masterminding a global network of online fraudsters trading in stolen bank and credit card information.

They were among 24 suspects held across four continents yesterday following a painstaking two-year undercover sting, described as the biggest of its kind to be launched against financial cybercriminals.

The international gang is believed to have coordinated a multi-million pound internet black market trading in illegal hacking software and stolen personal information.

The operation foiled suspected fraudsters carrying out 'carding' schemes in America, Europe, Asia and Australia and protected more than 400,000 potential victims losing £131 million from debit and credit cards, the FBI said.

Authorities from 30 different countries are believed to have been involved in the operation.

A total of 11 people were arrested in the US, while suspects were held in 12 other countries including the UK, Norway, Italy and Japan.

The arrests came after undercover FBI investigators set up a bogus website where fraudsters involved in carding schemes could buy and sell stolen information and programmes.

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said: 'The coordinated law enforcement actions taken by an unprecedented number of countries around the world demonstrate that hackers and fraudsters cannot count on being able to prowl the internet in anonymity and with impunity, even across national boundaries.

'Clever computer criminals operating behind the supposed veil of the Internet are still subject to the long arm of the law.'

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