WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- U.S. officials announced arrests in an action directed at crimes involving stolen credit card, bank account and personal identification information.
The 24 arrests in eight countries resulted from the largest coordinated international law enforcement action in history directed at so-called carding crimes, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release Tuesday.
A two-year FBI undercover operation protected more than 400,000 potential cyber crime victims and prevented more than $205 million in losses, the release said.
The coordinated action, involving 13 countries including the United States, led to 24 arrests in the United States and 13 by law enforcement agencies in Britain, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Norway, Germany, Italy and Japan.
"As the cyber threat grows more international, the response must be increasingly global and forceful," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said.
"The coordinated law enforcement actions taken by an unprecedented number of countries around the world today demonstrate that hackers and fraudsters cannot count on being able to prowl the Internet in anonymity and with impunity, even across national boundaries," Bharara said.
"Carding" refers to various criminal activities related to stealing personal identification and financial information associated with credit cards, bank cards, debit cards or other access devices, and using that information to obtain money, goods or services without the victims' authorization or consent.
"From New York to Norway and Japan to Australia, Operation Card Shop targeted sophisticated, highly organized cyber criminals involved in buying and selling stolen identities, exploited credit cards, counterfeit documents and sophisticated hacking tools," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk said.
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