Two UK Men Arrested as Web Domains Seized for Trading Stolen Data
The arrest of two men in the UK and another in Macedonia is the result of an international operation in which 36 web domains, used to trade compromised banking data, were taken offline, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Unit announced today.
The Head of Cyber Operations at the UK Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCA), Lee Miles, spoke of the recent collaborative operation as "an excellent example of the level of international cooperation being focused on tackling online fraud."
Over the past two years SOCA cooperated closely with an number of law enforcement agencies including 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, to track the rise of websites used as e-commerce type platforms, known as Automated Vending Carts (AVC’s). During this time SOCA successfully recovered more than 2.5 million items of compromised personal and financial information which is estimated to have prevented more than £500 million ($809 m) in further fraudulent losses.
SOCA gathered evidence on cyber criminals operators of AVCs, a trend that had been increasing over the last 18 months, as fraudsters frequently began to use e-commerce platforms to ply their trade. The information gathered by SOCA led to the arrest of two UK men on suspicion of making large scale purchases of compromised payment card and online banking data. At the same time the UK’s Dedicated Cheque & Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) seized a number of computers in connection with Fraud Act offences while, in Macedonia, a man was arrested by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior Cyber Crime Unit on suspicion of operating a fraudulent AVC web platform.
As well as being a model example of international cooperation in the fight against online fraudsters the operation will protect businesses, online retailers and financial institutions from becoming the next victim and potentially save more than half a billion pounds in further losses, Lee Miles estimated in a press statement.
No figure, however, can be attributed to saving thousands of individual from the distress of becoming a victim of fraud or identity crime.
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