UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), working with the FBI and US Department of Justice Police have arrested two men and shut down 36 web domains used to sell compromised credit and debit card data, as part of an initiative by the.
Soca said the men who were arrested used e-commerce type platforms known as Automated Vending Carts (AVCs) which let criminals sell large quantities of stolen data quickly and easily.
Those who would try to access these sites would now be seeing that the web domain has been seized by the law enforcement.
Along with the arrests, the UK's Dedicated Cheque & Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) seized a number of computers which were being used to facilitate offences under the Fraud Act
Acting on information from Soca, an AVC operator based in Macedonia has been arrested by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior Cyber Crime Unit.
Soca has been tracking the development of AVCs and monitoring their use by criminals who support payment card and online banking fraud on a global scale.
Other agencies which worked along with SOCA were the FBI, the BKA in Germany, the KLPD in the Netherlands, the Ukraine Ministry of Internal affairs, the Australian Federal Police and the Romanian National Police, SOCA recovered more than 2.5 million items of conciliated personal and financial information over the last two years.
The potential international fraud prevented by the identification of this detail is estimated at being in excess of £500m.
Charlie Abrahams, vice president of MarkMonitor, which provides brand protection services online, said that it was an excellent progress, despite internet crime crossing boundaries, with consumer in one country, website hosted in a second, perpetrator in a third, etc.
He said that the brand owners themselves had to educate and protect their customers from the risks that go along with the benefits of transacting online.
Lee Miles, the head of cyber operations for Soca said the operation was an excellent example of the level of international cooperation being focused on tackling online fraud.
SOCA’s activities had saved business, online retailers and financial institutions of potential fraud losses estimated at more than half a billion pounds, while protecting thousands of individuals from the distress caused by being a victim of fraud or identity crime.
For several years, cyber criminals have been stealing large volumes of compromised financial information (bank account, credit and debit card details) and selling them in bulk to a growing market of online fraudsters.