Feeds

US Secret Service busts 28 ID fraudsters

International undercover op

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.