Feeds

US Secret Service busts 28 ID fraudsters

International undercover op

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

Updated A US-led operation targeting ID fraud crooks has led to the arrest of 28 people across seven countries this week.

The arrests follow an undercover operation headed by US Secret Service agents that successful infiltrated gangs that traded sensitive personal information and tips on ID fraud and forgery through online groups called Shadowcrew, Carderplanet and Darkprofits. The organisations were described by the US Justice Department as running a "one-stop marketplace for identity theft".

Operation Firewall identified a group of suspects investigators reckon collectively stole over 1.7 million credit card numbers as well as forging driving licenses, birth certificates and passports. Losses to banks through credit card fraud because of the gang's activities are estimated at $4.3m. The suspects face identity theft, computer fraud, credit card fraud and conspiracy charges.

"These suspects targeted the sensitive and private information of ordinary citizens as well as the confidential and proprietary information of companies," said Secret Service director W Ralph Basham. He added that the early arrest of the suspects prevented losses that could have run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Operation Firewall began in July 2003 as an investigation in access device fraud before expanding into an investigation of global credit card fraud and identity theft fraud. The US Secret Service singled out the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Europol for praise in supporting the investigation.

In a statement (PDF) the US Secret Service said Operation Firewall had led to the arrest of suspects in "eight states and six foreign countries" this week. Among those arrested was a 19 year-old from Camberley, Surrey, who was picked up on Wednesday (27 October). The Secret Service hasn't said which other countries are involved. But since US authorities worked with their counterparts in the UK, Canada, Bulgaria, Belarus, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine and the Netherlands we can deduce that the suspects came from one or other of those countries or the US. ®

Related stories

6m South Koreans exposed in slam and spam scam
ID thieves target enterprises
Invasion of the identity snatchers
World's largest ID theft felon faces 14 years' jail
150+ cuffed in US-led cybercrime crackdown

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.