Law enforcement poses as hackers to identify "carders" from around the world who allegedly make money off stolen credit-card, bank-account and personal-identification information.
The FBI orchestrated a two-year cybercrime sting that resulted in 24 arrests, with some alleged hackers facing more than 20 years in prison for allegedly profiting from stolen information such as credit card and bank account numbers, law enforcement authorities announced today.
The U.S attorney's office in Manhattan and the FBI announced the arrests and provided details of the sting operation, which involved FBI agents posing as hackers while the bureau set up a fake "carding" forum, according to the press release (see the full release below). Carding is the term for crimes associated with exploiting stolen personal information for profit. The forums helped "carders" communicate and, in some cases, find mailing addresses -- usually empty apartments or houses -- for products purchased with stolen credit-card data.
While the sting netted 24 arrests across eight countries, authorities only shared the charges of 12 alleged hackers. These individuals were charged with several counts of fraud, including selling personal data, using stolen information to purchase or obtain products, and selling tools to aid hackers in stealing information.
The FBI claims it prevented 400,000 potential cybercrimes via this operation.
These three alleged hackers face the heaviest sentences:
For the full list of charged suspects, see the press release below.