36 credit card fraud sites closed down
A global police operation involving the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has closed down 36 websites selling credit card details following an investigation which spanned two years.
Raids in the US, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Romania and Macedonia led to the sites being closed, many of them after being monitored for months.
The criminals behind the sites were selling financial information on an ‘industrial scale’ according to a report by the BBC, with the information changing hands for as little as £2.
Online trading platforms were being used to sell bank information in huge amounts.
A message has now been posted on the sites saying “this domain has been seized”.
Two Britons, from Birmingham and London, and a man from Macedonia, have been arrested as a result of the raids.
Soca is calling on internet service providers to prevent websites being registered anonymously and to introduce more secure registration procedures.
At the moment thousands of domain names are registered by automated computer programmes.
Many of the domain names registered are very similar and it is difficult to trace them back to their owner.
Earlier this month a York man who stole personal details from eight million people was jailed for two and half years.
Computer hacker Edward Pearson coded trojan viruses, called Zeus, SpyEye and Python, to search the internet for personal details.
He said he stole the data as an ‘intellectual challenge’.
Personal details were stolen from online payment service PayPal and from mobile phone company Nokia, which was forced to close its internal network for two weeks after staff details were stolen by the hacker.
Police found 8,110,474 names, dates of birth, and postcodes for adults living in the UK on one of Mr Pearson’s computers.