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The FBI has arrested two dozen people as part of the largest coordinated international cyber sting in history. The multi-million dollar operation spanned two years, eight countries and four continents, law enforcement officials said.
Operation Card Shop was started in 2010 as an online forum by the FBI for fraudsters to buy and sell stolen credit cards, driver’s licenses, counterfeit documents and bank information. The board also allowed members to discuss general hacking techniques and trade sophisticated hacking tools.
Investigators were able to identify two dozen suspects during the investigation including Joshua Hicks from The Bronx, New York. Hicks allegedly joined the bogus site in October, registering the handle “OxideDox” with a Yahoo email address.
During a series of online chats, he told investigators that he had been in the hacking scene for a while and had stolen 800 credit cards from another website. He revealed to undercover agents that he wished to trade the information for a digital camera or an iPad. He also supposedly agreed to sell 15 dumps of stolen card information for $250 and a camera.
US officials arrested 11 people while local authorities in other parts of the world including Norway, Japan and Australia apprehended 13 other individuals, conducting more than 30 search warrant and as many subject interviews. The task force behind the operation says that hundreds of millions of dollars in losses have been prevented and hundreds of thousands of credit cards remain protected as a result.