A gang of 36 members have been accused of being part of a $530 million cybercrime operation and indicted by the US; members have been located in countries including the UK.
Spread far and wide, other members have been tracked down across seven countries including the U.S. and the UK, with France, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia and even Australia also on the list.
The group have been indicted by the US Department of Justice under the accusation of obtaining and selling banking information as well as card details. With the massive availability of valuable personal data, criminals are capitalising on the lucrative opportunity.
Named the Infraud Organization, it is believed that the gang has been operational since 2010, carrying with it the slogan “In Fraud We Trust”. The group formed a kind of exchange for stolen information, a directory guiding buyers to sites.
John Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, said: “Today’s indictment and arrests mark one of the largest cyberfraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice.”
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Among the accused is a British man believed to be in the UK, as reported by the Telegraph, the City of London police have been unable to confirm the whereabouts of Anthony Nnamdi Okeakpu, 29. They have however confirmed that no arrests have been made, with The Metropolitan police also confirming that they had not arrested anyone in connection.
The vast scale of this operation is a prime example of cybercrime becoming real organised crime, involving numerous members literally spread across the globe. With the trading of stolen personal information at the core of this criminal racket, the case also entrenches the importance of data protection, an area set to be widely overhauled in 2018 with the arrival of GDPR on the 25th of May.