Law agencies around the world have swooped on an international bankcard fraud ring that had stolen almost $12m from innocent citizens as part of crackdown called Operation Spyglass.
A total of 29 alleged crooks have been arrested after the joint operation between agencies in Canada and Europe, led by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). The arrests took place in France, Germany and Canada.
The group were said to have compromised card data from point of sale terminals they had tampered with to intercept customer data as it was running through the system. This information was hijacked and routed to Canada where it was decrypted before being sent abroad for cloned cards to be made.
The EC3 said some 30,000 debit cards were compromised in this way.
The head of EC3, Troels Oerting, said the arrests underlined the efforts law enforcement agencies would go to to stop crooks by working together and investing in more digital forensic capabilities.
“This is another great example of very successful cooperation between law enforcement in several EU member states, colleagues worldwide and in Canada, utilising Europol’s unique tools, whereby EC3 acted as a virtual and physical platform for the joint operation,” he said.
“We are continuously investing more resources into this vital support platform, and we can now see the result of the joint work, especially by also providing forensic cyber expertise from EC3 to these complicated cases.”
Those arrested now face several charges including fraud, unauthorised possession and illegal trafficking of credit card data, card counterfeiting, conspiracy, theft and possession of stolen property.
This year has seen numerous cases hitting the headlines, with the Met Police claiming it has stopped over £1bn in fraud this year while Europol also arrested the hacker masterminds behind a notorious cyber black market that sold access to 21,000 compromised servers.
Campaigners want US authorities to break-up Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into separate companies
The perception of the industry as "a white man in a hard hat" is limiting new applicants, says Hayaatun Sillem
Almost two years late - and just as AMD is readying 7nm Zen 2 for early 2019
Eye-wateringly expensive smart speakers take just six per cent market share, claims Strategy Analytics