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    New York Times: F.B.I. Says 24 Are Arrested in Credit Card Theft Plan

    The New York Times reports that the FBI has arrested 24 people in 13 countries in connection with alleged computer crimes that affected individuals’ credit and debit card data:

    For hackers in search of information like credit card numbers and software to spy on computers, the site called Carder Profit appeared to be a veritable eBay for thieves.

    Instead, it was a creation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    On Tuesday, after a two-year undercover operation, authorities in 13 countries arrested two dozen people who are accused of fraud involving computer crime.

    Federal officials said Operation Card Shop, as the sting is being called, was unusually broad and represented a significant step in combating credit card fraud, which has grown notably more sophisticated recently. […]

    Hackers have become increasingly successful recently in obtaining credit card information and other personal data, sharing it on secure Web sites, often on overseas servers. Last year, hackers in Eastern Europe obtained the names, account numbers, e-mail addresses and transaction histories of more than 200,000 Citibank customers.

    The online forum, one law enforcement official said, was “like a restricted eBay,” open only to people who had a reputation and who had been vouched for by someone on the site. Besides the financial data, hacking tips, malware, spyware and access to stolen goods, like iPads and iPhones, were also possible on the site, the official said.

    Federal officials maintained that the sting operation prevented potential losses of more than $200 million. Credit card providers were notified of more than 400,000 compromised credit and debit cards, the officials said. […]

    In addition to arresting purveyors of stolen credit card information, authorities also aimed to trap people who created fake credit cards. The information included credit card numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, mothers’ maiden names and details of bank accounts.

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