An FBI investigation has led to 17 alleged members of an international phishing gang being arrested in Poland and the US.
Four arrests were made in the US and 13 people were apprehended in Poland. More than 20 FBI offices are said to have been involved in the investigation into the global identity theft ring, which is alleged to have carried out a phishing attack against a major financial institution between August and October 2004.
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As part of Operation Cardkeeper, FBI agents worked with local authorities to identify a criminal ring which was allegedly selling stolen identities, credit card and bank account information.
The suspected ringleader of the gang, a Polish man known as Blindroot, is said to have hacked into third-party computers to rent out web space to other criminals who wanted to host bogus websites for the purposes of phishing.
The US suspects were caught with cards and machines used to encode data onto blank credit cards. When authorities attempted to search premises, one suspect tried to flush counterfeit credit cards down the toilet.
In addition to the arrests, raids were reportedly carried out in New York, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Georgia and Ohio, and search warrants were served on three other suspects under investigation in Romania.
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