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June 27, 2012

FBI locks up 24 people in undercover card hacking operation

The FBI has arrested 24 people involved in a card hacking operation spanning across 13 countries with over 400,000 potential victims.

By Tineka Smith

Credit Cards

In June 2010 the FBI set up an undercover carding forum called "Carder Profit" to allow users to discuss various subjects related to carding as well as buying and selling credit card information. The fake website allowed to the FBI to gather information on cybercriminals.

The FBI recorded the IP addresses of users’ computers who accessed the site, which resulted in the arrests of 24 individuals.
13 countries were involved in the two year undercover operation led by the FBI. 11 people were arrested in the United States and the other 13 were arrested by foreign law enforcement abroad including the United Kingdom, Bosnia, Bulagria, Norway and Germany.

"As the cyber threat grows more international, the response must be increasingly global and forceful," says Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara. "The coordinated law enforcement actions taken by an unprecedented number of countries around the world today 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."

The FBI issued over 30 search warrants leading up to the arrests and say that an estimated loss of more than $205m has been prevented.

"From New York to Norway and Japan to Australia, Operation Card Shop targeted sophisticated, highly organized cyber criminals involved in buying and selling stolen identities, exploited credit cards, counterfeit documents, and sophisticated hacking tools," says FBI assistant director Janice Fedarcyk. "Spanning four continents, the two-year undercover FBI investigation is the latest example of our commitment to rooting out rampant criminal behavior on the Internet.

Cyber crooks trade contraband and advance their schemes online with impunity, and they will only be stopped by law enforcement’s continued vigilance and cooperation. Today’s arrests cause significant disruption to the underground economy and are a stark reminder that masked IP addresses and private forums are no sanctuary for criminals and are not beyond the reach of the FBI."

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The undercover operation is the latest inititative by the FBI for uncovering cybercrime. The organisation shut down file sharing site in January and charged its staff with copyright infringement. The FBI also arrested Lulzsec members after the group’s appointed leader became an informant for the FBI.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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