The operation was carried out by fraudsters trying to monetize stolen credit card information on the internet’s dark side.
Europol and many federal law enforcement agencies have teamed up to interrupt commerce in stolen credit card data on the dark web markets, ultimately preventing around $40 million in losses for both customers and financial organizations.
The operation, dubbed Carding Action 2020, was completed over three months and involved an investigation of 90,000 credit card info pieces. It was directed by law enforcement authorities from Italy and Hungary and supported by their peers from both the UK and Europol. It is not immediately clear if any arrests were made.
Europol chalked up the operation’s success to the close collaboration between the various authorities and partners in the private industry, together with the EU’s law enforcement agency acting as a go-between and helping with the coordination of the efforts and exchange of information.
“With over $40 million avoided from theft, “Carding Action 2020″ is an excellent example of how sharing data between businesses and law enforcement authorities is a key in combating the rising tendency of credit cards frauds and prevent from cybercriminals to make a profit from that” stated Edvardas Šileris, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, praising the achievement of the collaborative work.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson of the UK’s Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit also commended his team for the work on the mission: “The unit acting as a gateway facilitated the sharing of information with the card schemes involved to stop the criminals behind these callous actions and safeguard the general public from card payment fraud.”
In actuality, it was a busy week for law enforcement agencies to crack down on cybercrime. Europol’s press release came hot on the heels of a statement by Interpol it apprehended three people in Nigeria on suspicion of being members of a gang that has compromised private and government organizations across over 150 nations.
The group is supposed to cause the distribution of malware, phishing attacks, and for conducting Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud, which sits atop the list of the most expensive kinds of fraud. Even though the investigation is still ongoing, Interpol and its partners have been able to recognize some 50,000 victims of the gang’s schemes.